NXP, founded by Philips, and Sony Corporation have announced the formation of Moversa, a joint venture to drive global adoption of contactless smart card applications in mobile phones using Near Field Communication (NFC). Moversa will plan, develop, produce and market a secure chip, a Universal Secure Access Module (U-SAM), that incorporates both MIFARE and FeliCa operating systems and applications. The U-SAM will also support other contactless operating systems and applications based on customer requirements. Moversa will be led by co-presidents Guus Frericks of NXP and Toshio Yoshihara of Sony.
Kyocera Wireless and INSIDE Contactless have announced a global collaboration to integrate the INSIDE Contactless NFC solution for mobile payments in select prototype Kyocera mobile phones. As part of the collaboration, Kyocera will build NFC-enabled models enhanced with MicroRead, allowing the technology to be used in various banking pilot projects and initial adoption globally.
Kyocera announced the successful field-testing of handsets used in a WirelessWallet consumer trial by Cellular South. Equipped with Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, the handsets were used by consumers to make wireless payments and purchases in the nation’s first multi-city trial by a wireless service provider. According to Cellular South, WirelessWallet will become available to consumers in early 2008.
Verizon Wireless has announced their m-commerce service, enabled as a BREW application from technology partner Obopay as the first mobile payment offering for any major U.S. carrier, will be available in the coming weeks. The Obopay service will allow customers to receive, send and spend money via their mobile phones, check their account balances, collect money owed from other mobile users, view transaction histories and invite friends to use the system.
According to PC World, Cellular South in Jackson, Miss., joined USA Technologies in Malvern, Pa., this week to announce a two-city consumer trial of WirelessWallet, a service that will let consumers make m-commerce payments from a cell phone. They will use handsets from Kyocera that will act as a digital credit card enabling customers to tap & go their phone on a NFC terminal to make purchases.
The recent round of international press devoted to ‘the next big thing for mobile’ has an interesting, and recurring, theme. It started with a fair amount of mainstream media attention devoted to the statements made at CTIA during Visa’s keynote address regarding the evolution of mobile payments. Around the same time we notice that Capt. Kirk went boldly where no ex-pat Canadian would dare go (Toronto in March) to attend this presser with Ted Rogers promoting a new fangled mobile web-cam handset, which the company breathlessly hailed as “a landmark in wireless communications”.
We also noticed this special op-ed from Card Technology about how Sony is potentially challenged to get their m-commerce product outside of Japan. The article did some great work, however there’s plenty of room for a counter-point discussion. One thing rings true, both of these technologies were deployed here in Japan years ago and like the camera-phone will begin making their way into markets overseas in due course.
Technology companies and mobile operators joined forces on Monday to plan a global standard for electronic wallets in mobile phones. Sony Corp. from Japan and Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors said they will create a joint venture, to be established by the middle of next year, that will plan, develop, produce and market a secure chip that will include both companies’ contactless chip card formats: Mifare and FeliCa.
Bouygues Telecom is testing a travel card integrated into a mobile phone in a trial covering the entire Paris mass transit authority (RATP) and Transilien SNCF suburban transit network in the Paris region. The experiment is the fruit of a cooperative venture with Gemalto for the SIM cards, NEC for the mobile handsets and Inside Contactless for the NFC contactless components. Tests carried out by Bouygues Telecom and the RATP between July and October have already validated many technical aspects. Transilien SNCF has decided to join in the next phase of the trial, which will involve some 100 test customers over a three-month period.
The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association advancing the use of near field communication (NFC) technology, has announced the publication of its first four specifications. NFC technology is a short-range, standards-based wireless connectivity technology which allows consumers to perform safe contactless transactions, access digital content and connect electronic devices with a single touch. The NFC Forum’s Sponsor Members include: HP, MasterCard, Microsoft, Nokia, NEC, Panasonic, Renesas, Philips Electronics, Samsung, Sony Corp., Texas Instruments and Visa Intl.