A select group of around 1,000 mobile phone users in Singapore will soon be able to use their mobile phones to pay for small purchases during the country's first trial of near field communications (NFC).
The trial, organized by financial services group DBS, EZ-Link Pte Ltd. (a subsidiary of Singapore's Land Transport Authority), digital security company Gemalto, MasterCard and StarHub will start in December.
Mobile carriers and financial institutions around the globe are jumping at the chance to trial the next generation payment solution as they and their customers become accustomed to the benefits of living in cash-free societies.
"With the rapidly expanding use of mobile devices, our customers are increasingly expecting financial services and payments to be offered on their mobile devices," said Ms Ooi Huey Tyng, Senior Vice President, Cards & Unsecured Loans, DBS Bank Ltd.
"We are happy our cardholders will be the first in Singapore that will benefit from the convenience of having the functionality of NFC-enabled chip embedded onto their mobile phones to make payments. Through this, we hope to further promote the adoption of cashless payment in Singapore."
In November China's second largest mobile carrier, China Unicom, launched NFC payment services that enable consumers in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing to make payments with their NFC-compatible phones.
Korean mobile network operator KT has also just launched a commercial NFC service in the country.
KT predicts that by 2015, 47 percent of its handsets will have built-in NFC features.
Singapore will trial the NFC service for eight-months before eventually rolling it out to "the masses" in the latter part of 2011.