Softbank trials contactless payments

Japanese operator Softbank Mobile is set to trial contactless payment technology, having tapped up security firm Gemalto for the project.

The program aims to enable secure mobile Near Field Communication (NFC) transactions from a variety of different credit card accounts. The pilot is expected to roll out in the first quarter of 2011.

Softbank customers will be able to use their mobile phone for contactless payments in convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and theatre, as well as to perform NFC transactions from two credit card issuers – Orient Corporation, a MasterCard PayPass partner, and Credit Saison.

Gemalto’s N-Flex offering enables users to turn a conventional handset into an NFC-enabled mobile phone, without any change to the device, by inserting a little bit of gadgetry in between the SIM and the SIM interface and wrapping a fine antenna around the battery.

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