MasterCard has partnered with Taipei Fubon Bank and Taiwan Mobile to launch an NFC mobile phone payment pilot programme across the island.
Beginning late January, Taiwan Mobile began selecting 100 consumers to test the MasterCard PayPass payment feature embedded on a Nokia 3220 mobile phone. As part of the pilot, each purchase transaction will be limited to a maximum of NT$3000, with a monthly limit of up to NT$15,000.
NFC technology is already deployed in MasterCard PayPass contactless credit cards and payment devices throughout Taiwan and is accepted at retail outlets, highway rest stops and on bus systems. Consumers with MasterCard PayPass-enabled phones will be able to shop with their phones at more than 2000 assigned stores nationwide.
Using technology supplied by Vivotech, the phones have also been equipped to upload merchant incentive programmes in the form of e-coupons, which can be stored on the handset and used against future purchases.
The programme is the latest in a series of initiatives to extend the contactless infrastructure into new payment arenas across the island. In June, Taiwan’s Taiwan's Chinatrust Commercial Bank (CCB) teamed with Austrian watch maker Laks and contactless card outfit On Track Innovations (OTI) to launch a football-themed wrist watch featuring MasterCard's PayPass functionality ahead of the World Cup in Germany.
News of the programme comes as rival card scheme Visa prepares to perform a large-scale test of a contactless mobile payment system developed in conjunction with Korean mobile operator SK Telecom.
The launch is planned to initially involve 30,000 SK Telecom subscribers. They will be able to install the Visa Wave contactless payment application directly onto their handsets via OTA without having to visit their bank.
The user sends a message to the bank requesting the Visa payment application. The bank then sends the application through mobile Internet where it resides on the consumer's universal SIM card. Because of this, users will not be restricted to making payments only from that device. SK Telecom 3G subscribers who wish to change to a new handset need only move the USIM card to the new device.