Some 1, 000 DBS customers with StarHub mobile plans will be the first in Singapore to use the NFC Mobile Payment Solution trial service for everyday mobile payments. The trial will commence in December 2010 and will last for eight months. The project, which was collaboratively organised by DBS Bank, EZ-Link, Gemalto, MasterCard and StarHub, will involve adding an N-Flex solution enabling to turn conventional handsets into NFC-enabled mobile phone without any change to the device.
The N-Flex solution functions on SIM cards across multiple mobile handsets hence helping to accelerate the ubiquity of handsets supporting NFC. The solution is also the first-of-its-kind conforming to the Single Wire Protocol (SWP) as endorsed by the GSM Association (GSMA).
The NFC trial user will then be able to make payments with their mobile handsets at all merchant outlets that accept the MasterCard PayPass™ or the ez-link card, as well as on public transportation such as buses and trains.
The trial will involve a group of participants who will receive an electronic mailer from either StarHub or DBS Bank that contains instructions on how to register their participation online. Trialists will then be required to visit the StarHub Customer Service Centre at One Raffles Place (OUB Centre) or designated StarHub road shows to have the Upteq N-Flex device inserted and mapped onto the SIM cards of their mobile handsets before they can start making payments with their phones.
“With the rapidly expanding use of mobile devices, our customers are increasingly expecting financial services and payments to be offered on their mobile devices. We are happy our cardholders will be the first in Singapore that will benefit from the convenience of having the functionality of NFC-enabled chip embedded onto their mobile phones to make payments. Through this, we hope to further promote the adoption of cashless payment in Singapore,” said Ms Ooi Huey Tyng, Senior Vice President, Cards & Unsecured Loans, DBS Bank Ltd.
“Through this partnership with industry partners in delivering the first mobile payment device that leverages on the NFC technology in Singapore, EZ-Link believes that its customers will benefit from the convenience of having the functionality of an ez-link card embedded onto their mobile phones. We hope to also promote the adoption of cashless payment by merging it with a device that is already a necessity most Singaporeans carry around with them at all times”, said Nicholas Lee, Executive Director of EZ-Link Pte Ltd.
“Gemalto is delighted to drive the technology behind this landmark trial. Our N-Flex solution was created specifically to empower mass adoption of the ever convenient and easy-to-use NFC mobile payments. As more countries deploy this service, we are glad to be part of a collaboration between industry leaders to roll this out for Singapore, making us one of the first in Asia to do so,” adds Tan Teck Lee, Gemalto Asia President and CITO.
“The mobile phone has become an indispensible part of everyday life, making it an ideal tool to transform the way consumers pay for everyday purchases”, said Julienne Loh, vice president and Country Manager, Singapore, MasterCard Worldwide. “Working closely with Gemalto, MasterCard is taking the lead to deliver a convenient and secure payment method for consumers using a wide range of mobile devices. Through this trial with our partners DBS, EZ-Link and StarHub, Singapore will be at the forefront of developments in this field.”
Ms Yeong Mun Ling, Vice President of StarHub’s Business Strategy and Customer Lifecycle Management said, “With the proliferation of mobile handsets in Singapore, and the growing prominence of mobile payment transactions, we believe now would be a good time to implement this unique NFC solution. Not only will this trial help us measure the level of customer acceptance for the new technology, it will also help us gather critical feedback on how the service can be further enhanced”.
The service is currently scheduled to be launched to the masses in the later part of 2011.