The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore’s (IDA) latest call for collaboration (CFC) to deploy an interoperable NFC infrastructure drew strong interest from the industry, with more than 100 representatives turning up for a December briefing on the CFC. These representatives from 58 companies and agencies were given a glimpse of what is in store regarding Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile services.
It was revealed that at least two NFC mobile payment services are expected to be launched in early 2012. The services will leverage the interoperable, secure and scalable infrastructure that the CFC aims to establish as an open and cost effective means for service providers to reach mobile subscribers of different telcos.
Nearly 60 companies attended the CFC briefing.
A multi-application NFC ecosystem is expected to take shape around the infrastructure as merchants and consumers adopt NFC mobile services. The IDA targets to reach 30,000 subscribers and 4,000 merchants adopting NFC mobile services within two years of the CFC award in May or June 2011.
Through the interoperable Trusted Third Party (TTP) infrastructure, mobile subscribers can choose from the various offerings by each service provider and will not be limited by whom his mobile operator is partnered with. Interoperability between service providers and mobile operators is key to realising the full potential of NFC and enhancing the business case for all players in the NFC eco-system.
Banks, payment and other service providers will connect with mobile operators through the TTP infrastructure. To encourage and catalyse industry-wide participation by industry players, the TTP will have an open-access business model to facilitate the entry of new payment service providers and other innovative value-added services such as coupons, loyalty and tickets.
The CFC was welcomed by Mr David Chan, Vice President, Operations and Advanced Payment Products, South East and South Asia, MasterCard. He said, “With NFC mobile technology, mobile phones can be used for quick ‘tap-and-go’ payments, eliminating the need to scramble for cash, swipe a card or even sign a receipt at checkout. This has become increasingly relevant in today’s society where people are growing ever more reliant on their mobile phones.”
Mr Craig Richman, Director of Mobile Payment from Visa, also welcomed the move by IDA, “The IDA's initiative is a welcome move to accelerate the development and adoption of mobile contactless payment services in Singapore. We look forward to working with IDA and other industry players to achieve the goals set out as part of the IDA's Next Generation E-Payment Programme under iN2015 and help ensure Singapore’s place as a global leader in delivering electronic payment innovations.”