WorldWide Tech & Science. Francisco De Jesús.
Denmark’s four major operators – TDC, Telenor, TeliaSonera and 3 – have created a joint venture to bring Near Field Communication (NFC) services to market
The interoperable service is intended to enable the creation of a ‘digital wallet’ in the country, with rollout expected to start this autumn. However, the group admits that progress will depend on the widespread availability of NFC-compatible handsets and takeup from retailers.
According to various reports, the group claims that "everything we currently physically have in our wallet or purse will soon be available digitally on our SIM card as ordinary everyday functions on our mobiles.”
Consumers will be able to use their mobiles to pay for goods, services and travel, at a discount if digital coupons are available, and also open doors at hotels or borrow a book at the library, according to the operators' vision of the future.
For users, the operators working together will mean that they can switch from one to the other and still bring their wallet with them, the operators said. The Danish plan echoes recent previous efforts from operators in the UK and US, demonstrating that interoperable NFC is beginning to become a realistic proposition across the world.
As well as operators, mobile giants such as Apple and Google are getting in on the NFC game.
Earlier this week Google chairman Eric Schmidt said he believes one-third of all restaurants and retail outlets will allow for mobile payments within the next year, a number that should be enough for widespread adoption of mobile payments.
Late last month, his company unveiled Google Wallet, a service that uses NFC to let users pay for purchases with their Android-based devices. Google said it will be partnering initially with Sprint, MasterCard, Citi, and FirstData on the service. Google also said last month that all future Android smartphones will be NFC-compatible. Meanwhile rumours suggest the next iPhone will feature NFC technology.