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Local telcos begin three-way battle for NFC supremacy

Jack Loo | Aug. 28, 2012
M1, StarHub and SingTel unveil their offerings on Android-based devices.

SingTel makes its move

Meanwhile, SingTel's offering, mPayment, is a mobile payment service in partnership with EZ-Link.

The service is available for customers who have a supported NFC smartphone and purchase an NFC SIM card from SingTel. There are no additional monthly subscription charges or one-time activation charges for this NFC payment service.

SingTel dangled two incentives in the form of a waiver of the S$5 (US$3.9) administrative fee and a S$5 complimentary stored value in the ez-link purse if subscribers sign up by 30 September 2012.

"We will progressively launch differentiated services that enhance our customers' lifestyles and provide them with a unique mobile commerce experience, ranging from payments to value-added services," said Gan Siok Hoon, SingTel's vice president of mCommerce.

EZ-Link has also launched its own NFC app that promises something different from what the telcos have offered.

"EZ-Link has achieved another milestone with NFC, by launching its over-the-air top-up - a first for NFC solutions launched in Singapore that enables consumers to enjoy the convenience of topping up anywhere, anytime," said Nicholas Lee, chief executive officer, EZ-Link. 

The EZ-Link mobile application can be downloaded from the Google Play store for use on NFC-enabled Android mobile handsets. The app allows customers to check transaction history and balances, top-up the ez-link purse with any debit or credit card, and sign-up for Activate! - a complimentary EZ-Link programme which enables ez-link purse blocking and refunds of the ez-link purse in the case of loss of phones.

Customers can also do physical top-ups at People's Association Community Clubs (CCs) EZ-Link top-up machines, DBS/POSB ATMs, or via the EZ-Online service where a convenience fee applies.

NFC in Singapore gained momentum when tech regulator IDA set up an industry-wide initiative with the three telcos, payment services providers and card manufacturers in October last year to roll out NFC services.


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