Taiwanese CHT mobile NFC pilot underway with four banks, MasterCard and Gemalto SE

3 July 2013

Gemalto is supplying its UpTeq near field communication (NFC) SIM-embedded security product to Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) in Taiwan as the mobile network operator (MNO) rolls out a large-scale NFC pilot in conjunction with MasterCard and four banks across the Asian island.

CHT is Taiwan’s largest MNO with 10 million subscribers. The pilot is supported by Taiwanese banks Cathay United, Chinatrust Commercial, E.Sun and Taishin, as well as the handset makers HTC, Samsung, Sony.

CHT subscribers will be able to use their mobile phone for contactless payments at over 20,000 MasterCard PayPass point-of-sale (PoS) readers across Taiwan including supermarkets, department stores and a fleet of taxis. The pilot also supports additional NFC services such as multiple credit and prepaid cards, loyalty cards, coupons, and ticketing as part of the drive to encourage contactless technology across the island.

Gemalto’s UpTeq NFC SIM is the tamper-proof secure element (SE) that provides banking-grade security for the mobile contactless transactions. It also enables CHT to easily deploy and manage additional NFC services after the card has been issued to subscribers in the field via its associated software. It is hoped this flexibility will attract more retail service providers looking to harness NFC technologies and to expand loyalty schemes.

Commenting on the pilot, Julie Yang from MasterCard Taiwan, said the initiative would “provide consumers with the most innovative payment technology and create new opportunities for financial services”.

According to Joseph Kuo, director of value added services at CHT, it is part of the MNO’s strategy to ‘seed the market’ by equipping all of their subscribers with the Gemalto UpTeq NFC SIM so the firm is ready for the mass deployment of mobile contactless services. “The strong support of the Gemalto local team has helped us achieve first-to-market advantage in using the SIM to secure mobile payments,” he added.

The leading partner banks bring significant clout to the programme, believes Michael Au, senior vice president of telecommunications at Gemalto Asia, who added the project will “spur new service providers to on-board the NFC ecosystem, to offer a wide array of NFC services such as mass transit, access control and information download from smart posters.”

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