NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and SoftBank have created the “Japan Mobile NFC Consortium,” which will help the three carriers coordinate and adopt an international NFC standard. Currently, all three operators offer an NFC service dubbed Osaifu-Keitai (wallet phone) which uses a contactless-IC smartcard that’s called FeliCa. Unfortunately, the technology doesn’t work overseas where other carriers use Type A or Type B NFC standards, which means Osaifu-Ketai won’t function properly for NTT DoCoMo, KDDI or SoftBank customers hoping to use their phones for mobile payments overseas. The three carriers hope they can work with handset makers and vendors to encourage the adoption of Type A and Type B NFC standards. The consortium also aims to “create an environment in Japan where service providers can offer efficient, low-cost NFC services based on common standards and rules adopted by the three mobile operators.” The full press release follows after the break. More →
MasterCard announced earlier this week that it would partner with with ISIS to help foster the growth of NFC-based mobile payment solutions in the U.S. ISIS, formed in November last year by Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile, intends to deliver a complete mobile wallet solution that ambitiously aims to replace cash, credit cards, debit cards, coupons and more with one comprehensive mobile solution. So we know about ISIS and now we know MasterCard is on board, but MasterCard is hardly a newcomer in the contactless payments space. BGR recently had a chat with MasterCard’s Senior Vice President of Mobile, James Anderson, to discuss the past, present and future of mobile payments here in the U.S. Of course NFC-based contactless payment solutions are at the forefront of discussions surrounding the mobile payment space right now, and who better to discuss NFC with than the man recently named Vice Chairman of the NFC Forum? Our full Q&A with Anderson can be found below.
BGR Interview is a series of interviews and conversations with executives, influencers, tastemakers and innovators, covering the mobile and consumer electronics industries. More →
Rumors surrounding an NFC-equipped iPhone from Apple date back to last summer, when Apple hired NFC expert Benjamin Vigier as its Commerce Product Manager. Speculation surrounding how Apple might use NFC dates back even further, of course, considering the many NFC-related Apple patents that have been revealed in the past. On Monday, the flames were rekindled yet again as The New York Times reported Apple will include NFC chips from Qualcomm in a future version of its iPhone handset. The Times’ report doesn’t specifically state that Apple’s next iPhone — referred to as the iPhone 5, for now — will include NFC capabilities, saying only that a “coming iteration” of Apple’s smartphone will include Qualcomm NFC chips. Following several reports however, many still anticipate that the iPhone 5 will indeed be the first Apple smartphone to include NFC capabilities. Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPhone in June. More →
According to a BGR source, Bank of America has started inviting select customers to trial its new Mobile Wallet payment service program based on NFC technology. The program only works with BlackBerry smartphones at this point, and in order to make your existing phone NFC-capable, Bank of America is sending testers a new battery cover in addition to a microSD card. The BlackBerry Curve 8520 and 8530; BlackBerry Bold 9000, 9650 and 9700; and BlackBerry Tour 9630 are all supported devices. Payments can be made at any location where Mastercard’s PayPass is accepted, and the program will become active very shortly “this Spring.” We have a couple shots of the program materials after the break!
Thanks, Dylan! More →