MasterCard is planning to pilot a miniature card from Gemalto that can be attached to mobile phone SIMs to turn handsets into contactless payments devices.
The pair have teamed with DBS Bank, local pre-paid card specialist Ez-Link and telco StarHub on the trial, which relies on Gemalto's Upteq N-Flex, a wafer-thin device that can be inserted into an array of mobile handsets, attached to SIMs.
The pilot will involve holders of EZ-Link Fevo MasterCard cards, enabling them to make low value payments by tapping their handsets at PayPass-enabled terminals. The partners say they may also widen the trial to cover contactless transport payments.
MasterCard says that because the technology functions on multiple handsets it will help to "provide a path to ubiquity" for mobile NFC. The system is also the first of its kind conforming to the Single Wire Protocol as endorsed by the GSMA.
Ajay Bhalla, EVP, south east and south Asia, MasterCard Worldwide, says: "This innovation is aimed at accelerating mobile NFC payments in the region. MasterCard PayPass offers consumers the convenience of being able to pay with their mobile phones, quickly and conveniently, without fumbling for change."