Japanese Mobile Wallet Concept On Its Way To Singapore
With the ever growing number of handphone users in Singapore it is quite obvious that this personal communication device can also be used as a mobile wallet, just like in Japan.
In spite of this, Singapore mobile carrier Starhub has announced in a press release dated 16 June 2008 that it has signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with top Japanese mobile phone carrier NTT DoCoMo to test and pilot the Osaifu-Keitai (lit. translation: mobile wallet) service in Singapore.
A mobile wallet is simply a software that makes use of a mobile phone equipped with a contactless IC card (think EZ-link) enabling the phone to be used as a transaction device. This allows the phone to be used for taking train rides and purchases in stores with stored credit. That is, instead of tapping your EZ-link card when going through MRT barriers, you could be tapping your phone on the sensors instead.
Besides using the technology primarily for transportation, it also has the capability to handle transactions similar to credit cards and loyalty cards.
Singapore, as stated in the press release is the first country out of Japan to test the Osaifu Keitai service, following a successful NFC (Near Field Communication) trial by Starhub back in October 2007.
More info about the Osaifu-Keitai service via NTT DoCoMo’s website.