StarHub explores possibility of turning mobile phone into payment device
The convenience of mobile payment, where all consumers have to do is tap their phones on readers to pay for purchases, could soon become a reality for Singaporeans. StarHub and EZ-Link are currently working together under a strategic partnership to deliver a service which integrates the wallet into the mobile phone turning it into a payment device, which means consumers get to enjoy the benefits of a cashless system.
The service is made possible through Near-Field Communication, or NFC technology, and is one of the most welcomed emerging mobile applications to hit the commercial market.
The project is currently undergoing a six-month public trial with 1,000 handsets distributed to StarHub customers. With over 20,000 ez-link payment acceptance points, the trial, which will end in April 2008, is the largest of its kind in the world and is the first public trial in Singapore.
"EZ-Link's and StarHub's first steps toward the implementation and adoption of the NFC technology demonstrate the companies' focus on delivering cutting-edge technologies that add significant value and convenience to consumers in Singapore," said Mr Anil Nihalani, Vice President of StarHub's Mobile Services. "The feedback from our trialists will help us understand consumer behaviour toward the NFC technology and provide valuable input as we develop new and exciting applications and services that utilise the technology."
Participating partners in the NFC phone trial include banks, cinemas, public transportation providers, and shopping centers.