A few comments for The Register on this article. ++ INLINE BELOW ++
Proximity payments have long been popular in Japan, in part because of the cash-based culture that eschews credit cards..
++As opposed to the service being widely available, both by devices and point of sale readers, and ‘rather’ convenient for customers to use. Otherwise, note JCB claims 60M credit card members.
.. thanks to NTT DoCoMo owning entire value chain (network operator, bank, technology provider)
++err.. thanks to Sony! while DoCoMo does own shares in FeliCa networks, so do other operators and banks. As for the ‘entire value chain’ statement.. Yes.. that’s why it works here, for some 6-years now, while other markets are still mucking around with who holds the hammer.. consumers be damned.
..and forcing manufacturers and competitors alike to comply with its “standards”.
++ 2-points.. Perhaps you are not aware? First, FeliCa (Sony) and MiFare (Philips – now NXP) ARE accredited NFC standards, full stop. Second, as for “forcing” vendors to comply; all operators here spec. – and Purchase! – their handsets from the ODM’s. Do you have an issue with Apple “forcing” Foxconn to follow their “standards” when making the iPhone..?!?
Payments systems are only NFC in the broadest possible sense of the term, being bound to the FeliCa standard, which offers much of the functionality promised by the N-Mark standard, which is coming to dominate outside Japan.
++Again.. FeliCa is an NFC standard – see link here: http://bit.ly/dECtMh
A disingenuous nod to the point it works well – for years on a widely deployed scale – as opposed to a ‘promise’ of next iteration, which in fact Sony developed in partnership with NXP, speaks volumes.
Clearly the so-called N-Mark standard, developed and blessed by all members of the NFC Forum – with Tagawa-san from Sony serving as chairman – is indeed set to become the global common platform.
This story reads very much like early days of W-CDMA (3G), then created and deployed by DoCoMo well ahead of the eventual 3GPP standard. Several observations from that example: DoCoMo and it’s partner vendors could not, or would not, wait years for a global standard to be decided. They built it, creating valuable related IP as a result, and eventually integrated the required updates once those became agreed and available. This head start gave them significant early advantages to enable data offerings – therefore ARPU – with a well established base in place. Seemingly, the same could be said now with NFC going forward.