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SoftBank Mobile to launch NFC in Japan

SoftBank Mobile has selected Gemalto as its trusted service manager for the commercial launch of NFC services in Japan. The carrier’s NFC platform will be hosted at Gemalto’s data centre in Singapore and run on its Allynis Trusted Service Management solution.


Softbank Mobile’s platform will support e-ticketing, couponing and loyalty programs as well as payments. In addition, says Gemalto, “SoftBank Mobile will be able to offer NFC services in Japan and abroad, opening the door to cross-border commercial agreements which will greatly benefit Japanese travellers overseas.”

Japanese carrier KDDI already has a commercial NFC service available, which also uses Gemalto as the TSM. NTT Docomo, meanwhile, signed a deal with MasterCard in October 2012 that will see the carrier taking its Osaifu-Keitai mobile wallet global, using phones that support both NFC and the early Japanese mobile payments standard. Last week, MasterCard announced it is to deploy 410,000 POS terminals that support PayPass contactless payments throughout Japan over the next three years.

“Gemalto’s expertise in NFC, drawing on more than 40 commercial TSM projects in progress, brings unrivaled understanding in managing NFC complexity and underlying security,” says Softbank’s Hironobu Tamba. “Gemalto’s end-to-end solution secures the back-end and allows SoftBank Mobile to focus on developing value-added mobile NFC services. We are excited to be able to offer our subscribers a richer mobile experience through NFC, via services like mobile payments and real-time couponing.”

“SoftBank Mobile’s participation in Japan’s NFC ecosystem is set to unify the usage of mobile payment throughout the country and beyond,” adds Michael Au, senior vice president of telecommunications at Gemalto Asia. “With Japan’s banks providing strong support for mobile payments, Gemalto expects rapid adoption and is dedicated to supporting SoftBank Mobile’s efforts in developing this service.”

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