Taiwan Mobile, Fubon announce wireless payment service

By Ted Chen, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan Mobile (台灣大哥大) and Taipei Fubon Bank (台北富邦) yesterday announced that the companies are collaborating to provide a full spectrum of services utilizing the fledgling near-field communication (NFC) technology. The endeavor may represent the first offering of NFC services to the public, when systems go online next year.

Known as the NFC PayPass, the service will include the functions of a credit card, access key card, membership card and public transit fare card on smartphone handsets equipped with NFC capabilities.

Security of digital transactions will be ensured by technology provided by the Netherlands-based Gemalto, and Taiwan Mobile’s single wire protocol (SWP) SIM cards, while payment systems are enabled by MasterCard.

Taiwan Mobile stated that the effort first began in 2007, with the release of a PayPass-equipped handset. Following yesterday’s launch, the company hopes to see widespread adoption of NFC services in Taiwan.

The companies stated that the public will be able to use their PayPass-equipped handsets in over 25,000 locations throughout Taiwan, including drugstores, department stores, taxis, movie theaters, groceries markets and food courts. When traveling abroad, consumers will also be able to use their MasterCard PayPass in 700,000 locations in 51 countries. The companies stated that internal testing has commenced, with the services expected to be fully online for the public early next year.