Posted on: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 09:23:20 -0400 by: G. Snyder
Many of us have cell phones with built in email capabilities, organizers and cameras and mp3 players. The voice cell phone industry is rapidly becoming commoditized and providers must continue to integrate new services to remain profitable.
The next application to hit the United States and currently hot in Japan, will be the use of cell phones as debit cards. Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo is taking a 34% stake in Japan's number two credit card issuer Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and is in negotiations with the top issuer JCB International.
Since last July, DoCoMo has sold over 3 million handsets with FeliCa chips that have built in transmitters and send a signal when the phone is placed near a sensor. The company is projecting sales of 10 million handsets by March 2006.
The technology, developed with Sony uses a 13.56 MHz carrier frequency and a transfer speed of 212 Kbps that currently lets Japanese users securely purchase (in a debit card arrangement) from vending machines, buy groceries, pay cover charges in clubs, go to cinemas and pass through turnstiles to board commuter trains. The credit card infrastructure build out (store sensors, etc) is in progress in Japan.
In the United States carriers are very interested - it is estimated between 10 and 20 million people in the U.S. do not have bank accounts but have cell phones.
You can get more info following these links: