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SoftBank Launching Contactless-Payment Trial With Android Smartphones

- Updated December 18, 2011

SoftBank Mobile Corp. start a Near Field Communication payment pilot with smartphones powered by Android 2.2 operating system late this quarter, the Tokyo-based subsidiary of Japanese telecommunication operator SoftBank Corp. announced Jan.18.

Seven other companies also will participate, including MasterCard Worldwide; Kyodo Printing Inc.; HTC Corp.; Orient Corp., Japan’s largest service provider of MasterCard PayPass cards; Japanese financial-services provider Credit Saison Co. Ltd.; and digital security technology vendor Gemalto and its French counterpart Trusted Logic S.A.

During the pilot, each smartphone will be equipped with an NFC Universal Subscriber Identity Module card and an Integrated Circuit chip, which will store the credit card information downloaded wirelessly by the user.

To make a payment, the user waves the phone over an enabled payment terminal, according to SoftBank Mobile. An Android application for each credit card will enable users to easily choose from the phone’s screen the card they want to use.

The trial is limited to select staff from the eight companies, a SoftBank Mobile spokesperson tells PaymentsSource. “This is, after all, an experiment, so we cannot say when or even if it will be officially launched in Japan until we see the actual result,” he adds.

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