Docomo Continues NFC Push with Global PayPass Deal (Oct. 29, 2013)
Japanese mobile telecom provider NTT Docomo is partnering with MasterCard to enable users of Docomo’s iD mobile wallet to make contactless purchases at 1.2 million MasterCard PayPass acceptance locations worldwide. Beginning on Feb. 5, 2014, iD wallet users with NFC-equipped mobile phones will be able to tap their devices to pay at PayPass-affiliated merchants in more than 50 countries. Payments can be made in the local currency, eliminating the need for users to carry cash when traveling abroad, according to MasterCard. Within Japan, Docomo iD users still will be able to make payments over the iD network, which has 500,000 readers throughout the country.
The PayPass deal is the latest payments play by Tokyo-based Docomo, which has been a driving force in expanding contactless and mobile payments throughout Asia-Pacific. Just last month, the provider banded with Visa’s Japanese arm to launch what the companies called Japan’s first mobile-based virtual prepaid card for online shopping. On the NFC front, Docomo also announced in September that it would support a plan by Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui to launch a new NFC payment service based on Visa’s payWave contactless payment technology. And in October 2011, Docomo partnered with South Korean telecom provider KT Corp. to develop a cross-border NFC payments service.
Meanwhile, MasterCard has set its sights on expanding PayPass in Japan. Earlier this year, the payments network unveiled plans to deploy 410,000 contactless payment terminals throughout the country over the next three years.