Hong Kong embraces NFC payment service

Staff writer
08 Nov 2012

Hong Kong is jumping on the bandwagon of the NFC payment, as PCCW Mobile is cooperating with Hang Seng Bank to roll out NFC-based mobile payment services next year.

The collaboration also includes other partners including MasterCard Worldwide, digital security company Gemalto and handset maker Samsung.

The companies will develop a mobile payment platform that facilitates fast and easy development of NFC payment services and promotes the wide acceptance and high penetration of NFC payments in Hong Kong.

“Hang Seng is committed to investing in the latest technologies to provide customers with fast, convenient and secure access to financial services. Our mobile contactless NFC payment service will expand the range of payment channels in Hong Kong and place us among the leading cities as regards the use of advanced payment systems,” said Rose Lee, chairman and chief executive of Hang Seng Bank.

The infrastructure will also open to other service providers and interested parties in a bid to make NFC payment development more sustainable in terms of cost and ease of adoption.

PCCW Mobile, which is the first mobile operator in the city to participate in the project, will act as an “enabler” by supplying Single Wire Protocol (SWP)-SIMs, which will be pre-installed payment applications from MasterCard, said Alex Kun, product development VP of HKT’s Wireless Business.

The project will initially focus on payment services but the companies are also looking for exploring new services and applications like e-discount coupons and loyalty card information for instant reward points or e-ticketing over the air.

Kun said currently there are over a dozen of NFC-enabled mobile phones, including the Samsung Galaxy Note II, available in the market. He expects that 50-60% of new handsets coming into the market will support NFC.

Gemalto, which has deployed over 50 NFC projects worldwide including the one in Singapore, will provide UpTeq NFC SIM and Trusted Service Management solution for the project.

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