Tuesday, March 15, 2005

More Cash-Less Society Wave

From RFID Journal Korean phones to be PayPass enabled.

SK Telecom will deploy MasterCard's PayPass system in South Korea, enabling customers to use Nokia mobile phones to make contactless payments.

By Claire Swedberg

Mar. 15, 2005—MasterCard and SK Telecom have announced they will deploy the MasterCard PayPass system in South Korea by late 2005. SK Telecom customers will be able to use PayPass chip embedded in their Nokia mobile phone to communicate with PayPass readers by "tapping" their phone against or near the reader during a transaction. In South Korea, the readers will also accept PayPass-enabled cards, which will be issued by Korean banks, as well as phones loaded with bank cards.

MasterCard's goal is "to grow our share of the cash market," says Oliver Steeley, the vice president for MasterCard's mobile wireless center of excellence.

How big is this market? About $1.3 Trillion .

By offering an easy payment method that allows the consumer to tap a PayPass-enabled phone, payment card or key fob instead of fumble for cash and change, or go through a card swiping, authorization and signature process, MasterCard hopes to gain market share in the "top of the [consumer's] wallet."

I discuss the ramifications of the cell phone and credit card merger here.

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