Docomo, KT partner on m-payment services

Both telcos are teaming up to develop cross-border mobile payment offerings based on near-field communications, with the first service scheduled for the first half of 2013.

Japan's NTT Docomo and South Korea's KT have agreed to jointly increase efforts in developing near-field communication-based mobile payment services that their customers can use in both countries.

In a press release Tuesday, NTT Docomo said the two companies are developing a cross-border service allowing the Japanese company's customers with compatible smartphones to use a prepaid mobile payment service, called Cashbee, in South Korea.

Both Docomo and KT have focused their efforts in developing common specifications for compatible devices, networks and billing platforms, since setting up a joint Business and Technology Cooperation Committee in 2005, it said.

Enabling the Cashbee service to work with Docomo customers, which is expected to be available during the first half of 2013, will be a practical commercial outcome of this initiative, the Japanese operator said. Other cross-border NFC services such as mobile payments, promotional coupons and mass-transit ticketing are also currently being developed, it added.

Toshiki Nakayama, senior vice president and managing director of Docomo's frontier services department, said going forward, the company will partner international operators and service providers to drive the development of mobile-payment services on a global scale.