Three new NFC deployments across Asia-Pac

NFC stickers based payments in Australia: Australia's Bankmecu and card issuer Cuscal have completed an NFC payment sticker trial, enabling consumers to make contactless payments at Visa payWave terminals using a smart sticker stuck to their phone. Bankmecu now plans to further test the service before launching it to its wider cardholder base in the next few months.

NFC mobile device plug based payments, in Hong Kong:

In Hong Kong, Jetco to launch NFC payments.

Hong Kong ATM network provider Jetco is to offer NFC payments using an add-on device that plugs into the headphone jack of a standard smartphone, the South China Morning Post reports. Five of Jetco's thirty member banks have signed up for the service and Bank of China (Hong Kong) is set to be the first to pilot the platform later this year, alongside its existing BOC e-Wallet NFC service.

Workforce smartcard payments using NFC in Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s first workforce smartcard coming, packs NFC touch hi-tech power. As described by MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY & COMMERCE, SRI LANKA The first ever smart card for a Sri Lankan workforce is fitted with no less than NFC touch technology -another new leap in electronic payments in Sri Lanka. And the state sector outlay for the initiative is a surprisingly minimal of $76,000 Trials of the smart card has shown good results, with the partners Channel 17 and Mobiltel. 'It is time we compensate our workforce well, and we are starting with the workforce that makes Sri Lanka a global brand- Sri Lanka apparel employees said a satisfied Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on 29 October in Colombo. Pranama Smart Card as it is called is the Privilege card for Sri Lanka’s 350000 strong apparel workforce of all ranks, jointly brought by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Channel 17, and Mobitel.

The card initially will enlist 16 private merchants-such as Singer, Unilever, Cargills, Mobitel, DSI, Abans, Sampath Bank, NOLIMIT, Hutch, Delmege, TVS, MRF Tyres, Rainco, Anton and ICL, among others -to give special rates on their products and services to 350000 strong apparel workforce here. Upon producing the card at any of these merchant’s retail stores/sales points, the apparel employee becomes entitled to additional discounts and bargains (ranging from 2% to 15%) on top of the already declared/advertised discounts or rates by the merchant for the general consumer market.

For example, at Sampath Bank, card holding apparel employee would be given 1% extra interest on their savings in addition to the prevailing rates made available to regular customers, 10% additional discounts by Ceylinco Insurance in addition to rates of regular consumers, and 7.5% additional discount for shoes at DSI. The card will use the advanced closed system of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology by Mobitel in that, the transactions takes place as soon as the card touches the surface of Point of Sale (POS) Terminal of the vendor/supermarket! The final version of Pranama Privilege Card scheme will be implemented by November 2014.

LTP view: Its amazing how governments, banks and retailers are beginning to adopt NFC payments in Asia-Pac. There are many more examples we will bring to you. In terms of sheer numbers APAC region is the fastest growing region for mobile payments globally.