Launch date set for NTT Docomo mobile commerce service
NTT Docomo, one of the largest telecommunications and mobile network operators in Japan, has been working to enter into the mobile commerce field for some time. The company has taken note of the rising demand for mobile commerce services. More consumers are becoming interested in mobile commerce because of the simplicity and convenience that it represents. NTT Docomo is set to launch a new NFC-driven mobile commerce service with the help of MasterCard, and the companies plan to launch this service globally on February 5, 2014.
New service works alongside MasterCard PayPass
The new service will allow Japanese consumers with NTT Docomo iD accounts to use their mobile devices to make payments at businesses utilizing MasterCard’s PayPass service. Some 500,000 merchants throughout Japan already support mobile payments through the iD platform and increasing the accessibility of these mobile payments to include merchants using the PayPass service is expected to be well received by consumers.
Proprietary technology may make the service unpopular
The initiative from NTT Docomo may run into a bit of a problem, however, because it is based on two technologies that are not widely available to consumers. First, in order to use the service, a consumer must have an NFC-enabled mobile device. These devices are still somewhat rare, though they are becoming more common as the demand for mobile commerce continues to grow. The second technology needed to use the new service is Osaifu-Keitai, a proprietary mobile payments technology developed by Sony Felica. In the past, the use of proprietary technology has made some mobile commerce platforms very unpopular with consumers that do not have ready access to such technology.
Demand for mobile commerce services is high in Japan
NTT Docomo expects that its new mobile commerce service will be well received despite its use of NFC and proprietary technology. The demand for comprehensive mobile commerce services in Japan is certainly high enough to make the company’s hopes feasible. Whether consumers will respond well to the new service has yet to be seen, however.