SK Telecom of Korea has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Japanese mobile operators KDDI Corporation and SOFTBANK MOBILE to lay ground for an interoperable contactless payment environment for mobile phone users of Korea and Japan.
By signing the MoU, the companies have confirmed their intent to cooperate on developing a new type of integrated, interoperable NFC mobile card solution, which is expected to bridge the gap between Korea’s Combi card and Japan’s FeliCa mobile wallet solution.
Under the new system, NFC phone users in Korea and Japan will be able to make mobile transactions, receive mobile coupons and membership discounts, and gain access to mobile gift vouchers without any service interruptions or geographical limitations.
The signing companies plan to offer a new mobile NFC solution operable on handsets embedded with an NFC chip. In Korea, NFC phones will be compatible with existing USIM card readers, which already number close to 25,000. Additional installations will be necessary for Japan, which has only a few hundred such readers.