Nintendo to tap Wii U's NFC functionality for contactless payments

Nintendo to tap Wii U's NFC functionality for contactless payments

Nintendo could soon take advantage of the Wii U's built-in NFC capability to let people make game-related payments by tapping a contactless card against the console's controller.

In a results briefing, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata confirmed that the firm is looking into the possibility of using the East Japan Railway Company 'Suica' smartcard - which is widely used in Tokyo and surrounding areas - for the purpose.

Iwato says that the move would make it easier for gamers to make low value purchases and therefore allow Nintendo to "expand business opportunities that take advantage of small payments" and "offer new business opportunities to business partners who offer low-price products and services".

The current Wii U digital marketplace, the Nintendo eShop, allows users to add money to their account balance by using a credit card or by purchasing a pre-paid card before purchasing and downloading games, applications and videos to their console. The outfit has seen its digital sales flourish, rising from two billion yen to over 16 billion yen in six years.

Nintendo is also tapping the Wii U's NFC functionality for "gameplay experiences", this week launching its first title - Pokèmon Scramble U - to take advantage of the technology in Japan. In the game, a "Helper Pokèmon" will appear when an NFC-compatible IC card is waved over the Wii U GamePad.

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