The new service will allow Far EasTone subscribers to pay for shopping at 7-Eleven convenience stores and hypermarket chain Far Eastern Giant through their mobile phones. Users will also be able to use their phones to pay for tickets to Kaohsiung's rapid transit system, which is set to start operations by the end of next year. Far EasTone also plans to test cross-boarder inter-operability in the pilot project in a partnership with KT Freetel in Korea, another member of the Conexus alliance (cf. Smart Insights #06-49). This pilot is the first implementation in Taiwan of the "Pay-Buy Mobile" initiative launched by the GSMA.
Far EasTone plans to run a trial in November 2007, involving 200 customers, and to go for a commercial deployment in early 2008. Far EasTone says they are working with several handset vendors including Sagem Mobile. The NFC implementation is based on an international standard called Single Wire Protocol (SWP), supported by the GSMA (cf. SI #07-19). As long as a mobile phone supports SWP, customers will be able to use the same SIM card to enjoy the same NFC services on many different mobile phones. The 3G USIM will integrate the functions of the SIM, credit cards, door access cards, membership cards and transportation cards. Partners include Taishin Bank, 7-Eleven, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store, Hey Song, RT-Mart, Geant and the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corporation.
Sagem, Gemalto, and NXP will be participating in the project.