Japanese wireless operator NTT DoCoMo and South Korean contemporary KT Corporation have firmed up plans to enable their customers to make NFC mobile payments in each other's countries.
Back in February 2011, the pair began using a joint business and technology cooperation committee to develop NFC common specifications for incorporation in devices, networks and billing platforms.
They now hope to have a system in place by next summer that will allow NTT DoCoMo customers to use their Japan-purchased handsets to make contactless payments at 52,000 locations across South Korea which accept eB Card's Cashbee e-money.
Cashebee is currently used by around five million Koreans at department and convenience stores, and mass transportation facilities such as subways and buses.
The partners say that they also plan to work on other NFC-based cross-border services such as mobile payments, promotional coupons and mass-transit ticketing and push the idea of compatible systems with other countries.
Toshiki Nakayama, MD, frontier services, DoCoMo, says: "DoCoMo is excited about creating a cross-border environment that enables Osaifu-Keitai [its mobile wallet] services both in Japan and abroad. Going forward, we will partner with international operators and service providers to drive the development of mobile- payment businesses for increasingly enhanced mobile experiences on a global scale."
DoCoMo is working with MasterCard on this project to bring its domestic network to the world, enabling customers using iD mobile credit payments with compatible smartphones to carry out contactless transactions outside of Japan.
Vicky Bindra, president, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard, says: "Our collaboration with NTT DoCoMo will open up endless possibilities of new forms of payments and other value-added services, and will help us continue to make contactless payments safer and easier, giving consumers more choices in how to pay."