18 February 2009 - Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is set to transform the way we go about our daily lives. With NFC-enabled mobile phones, consumers can experience the convenience of making payments, taking trains and buses, redeeming e-coupons and even opening doors by tapping their phones on contactless readers. Businesses can also create interactive posters that come with integrated NFC-enabled chips to allow for up-to-the-minute or customised information to customers.

Singapore, 18 February 2009 | For Immediate Release

Near Field Communication1 (NFC) technology is set to transform the way we go about our daily lives. With NFC-enabled mobile phones, consumers can experience the convenience of making payments, taking trains and buses, redeeming e-coupons and even opening doors by tapping their phones on contactless readers. Businesses can also create interactive posters that come with integrated NFC-enabled chips to allow for up-to-the-minute or customised information to customers. The potential of NFC as an enabling technology to create new services that provide greater convenience and interactivity is tremendous.

To realise the fullest potential of the NFC technology, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) will facilitate the establishment of an interoperable infrastructure, and promote the development of innovative services. With interoperability, subscribers of any telco will have access to the full range of NFC services offered by any service provider. Ubiquitous access by consumers will in turn spur businesses to consider deploying NFC services, as they can now reach out to a larger customer base. A consultancy study2 conducted by IDA projected that a fully interoperable NFC environment would generate a market size approximately eight times that of a non-interoperable environment. It is estimated that in the early stage of NFC adoption, the annual revenue from NFC mobile payments and advertising alone will amount to S$60 million for Singapore. With the maturity of NFC technology and services, the potential annual revenue will grow as more NFC services are deployed.

To foster industry collaborations towards the establishment of an interoperable infrastructure for NFC services, starting with transit and payment, IDA set up an industry Roundtable in Jan 08. It comprised 11 key industry players from telcos, banks and payment providers, and these included MobileOne, SingTel, StarHub,, DBS, OCBC, UOB, BCS, EZ-Link, NETS, MasterCard and Visa. Besides IDA, government agencies such as the Ministry of Finance, Monetary Authority of Singapore and Land Transport Authority were also involved. After extensive consultations and deliberations, all Roundtable members agreed to collaborate towards achieving an interoperable commercial deployment of NFC mobile payment through a Trusted Third Party (TTP) infrastructure. The TTP would act as a neutral party delivering interoperability by providing a single point of contact for all banks, payment providers and telcos. This would help to eliminate the duplication of infrastructure and satisfy the trust requirements of all parties for payment services.

The establishment of such an interoperable infrastructure will lay the foundation for the development of innovative NFC services in the near future. RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer of IDA said, “IDA has been playing an active role in identifying opportunities in leveraging new technologies and enabling platforms for Singapore to grow and innovate. NFC offers tremendous potential because of the many services it can bring to consumers. To realise its fullest potential, IDA sees interoperability as a key success factor for NFC and is pleased that all the NFC Roundtable members share the same conviction. Beyond transit and mobile payments, IDA will continue to work with the industry to support development of innovative services to create a rich user experience for consumers and businesses”.

Moving forward, IDA will facilitate industry collaborations in the establishment of the TTP, deployment of NFC payment services and adoption of contactless payment standards such as CEPAS, Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass etc. NFC adoption will be accelerated when mobile phone manufacturers make available more NFC-enabled mobile phones for the Singapore market.


ISSUED BY CORPORATE AND MARKETING COMMUNICATION DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE

Notes to Editor:

1 Near Field Communication (NFC) is a wireless technology that provides intuitive simple and two-way secured interactions among electronic devices. More details on the technology are described in Annex 2.

2 The consultancy study was conducted in 2008 by Consult Hyperion, a London-based consultancy that specialises in electronic transactions, in support of the deliberations of the Roundtable to establish an interoperable NFC infrastructure.

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About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. IDA uses an integrated approach to developing info-communications in Singapore. This involves nurturing a competitive telecoms market as well as a conducive business environment with programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg.

For media clarifications, please contact:

Sukri KADOLA (Mr)
Manager, Corporate and Marketing Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
DID: +65 6211 0640
Fax: +65 6211 2227
Email: Sukri_KADOLA@imda.gov.sg

Last updated on: 20 Mar 2023