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Malaysia to get commercial NFC launch in January?

After a successful trial involving NFC-based retail and transit payments, Malaysia’s Maxis Communications and Maybank are reported to be planning a commercial launch in January 2009

Maxis Communications, Malaysia’s largest mobile-phone operator, and Maybank will go live with a commercial NFC launch in January 2009, a source has told Cards&Payments magazine.

“The service would enable users to tap NFC phones to make retail purchases with a bank-issued contactless credit application from Visa Inc. and with Malaysia’s Touch ‘n Go transit and toll-collection application,” reports Mobile Banker, adding that some 3,000 point-of-sale terminals in Malaysia currently support NFC-compatible Visa payWave contactless cards.

Maxis and Maybank ran a trial in conjunction with transit operator Touch ‘n Go, Visa, RapidKL and Nokia in and around Kuala Lumpur from October 2007 to February 2008 and Maxis said at the time that it planned to launch NFC commercially during the second half of 2008.

The commercial launch, it then said, would see the service expanded to include downloadable bus routes and timetables plus the introduction of smart posters that could be used by consumers to download special offers and coupons. Touch ‘n Go, whose contactless transit and toll cards also enable users to pay parking fares, was also expected to take part in the commercial launch.

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