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Mobile payments are happening: Japanese and South Korean Telecoms prepare for cross-border NFC m-pay

The infrastructure for mobile payments is growing world-wide. The latest example is where the Japanese wireless operator NTT DoCoMo and South Korean peer KT Corporation have agreed plans to enable their customers to make near field communication (NFC) mobile payments (m-payments) in each other's countries.

In February 2011, both companies began using a joint business and technology co-operation committee to develop NFC common specifications for incorporation in devices, networks and billing platforms. They now aim to have a system in place by summer 2013 that will allow NTT DoCoMo customers to use their Japan-purchased handsets to make contactless payments at 52,000 locations across South Korea, which accept eB Card's Cashbee electronic money (e-money).

Cashebee is used by around five million Koreans at department and convenience stores, and mass transportation facilities such as subways and buses.

The partners also plan to work on other NFC-based cross-border services such as m-payments, promotional coupons and mass-transit ticketing and to promote the idea of compatible systems with other countries.

There are extravagant forecasts of the demand for mobile payments and certainly, as the demand Citi are experiencing for their mobile platform: CitiDirect BESM Mobile exceeds $10 Billion shows, there is growing use of mobile payment both by consumers and businesses. The inclusion of NFC generated payments is another piece of the infrastructure for mobile payments. Already all sizes of companies need at lest to be musing about: what types of payments and how many will NOT go mobile? What other payment systems should your company think of eliminating as well as cheques?

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