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Smart pushes use of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology in the Philippines

Wireless leader and pioneer Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is investing on Near Field Communications (NFC), a technology which allows for contactless data exchange between two devices in close proximity to each other, as the future of mobile transactions in the Philippines.

Initial trials which were conducted in the telco’s head office in Makati City enabled employees to use the technology to purchase items in the canteen.

From simple snack items to full meals, select users of a special Smart Money card with an embedded NFC chip have the option of paying on a “cashless” basis by simply tapping on a nearby terminal.

“The response to the project has been great,” said Smart Head of Financial Services Tricia Dizon. “The concessionaries are saving a lot of time because of the quick checkout and some of the customers don’t even take the card out of their wallets or bags,” she said.

Dizon adds that the success of the program can easily be applied in public citing that there is genuine need for better and faster means of conducting transactions.

“NFC is already being used in other Asian countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong,” Dizon said. “Millions of OFWs and Filipino tourists abroad have already used it first-hand so understanding how it works isn’t really an issue,” she explained.

First with NFC
In October 2011, Smart introduced “Tap Share” a service that lets Smart subscribers download content by tapping on a poster.

Through the use of an NFC-enabled smartphone, users can inquire about their prepaid balance or download mobile content such as news, music, and games using specially-marked posters in selected Smart Stores nationwide.

“Tap Share offers our subscribers a hassle-free and safe means of availing of products,” said Smart Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando B. Vea. “They no longer need to memorize lengthy keywords, codes, and URLs to enjoy a service,” he said.

Smart is the first and only telco in the Philippines to utilize NFC technology through the use of smartphones and cards.

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