Korean mobile network operator SK Telecom's subsidiary SK Planet has launched an NFC couponing service in the Shin-Okubo neighbourhood of Tokyo, the centre of the city's Korean community, in partnership with Japanese carriers KDDI and Softbank Mobile.
Customers of more than 100 stores located in the new NFC Zone can tap NFC tags embedded in smart posters to download discount coupons and free service vouchers to be used in-store.
The service is built on SK's Smart Touch platform, an open API-based system for providing and managing NFC based services.
KDDI and Softbank Mobile subscribers need to install the Shin-Okubo mobile app on their NFC phone before tapping the posters to retrieve special offers. Then, to redeem their coupons, they tap their phone against NFC readers installed in every participating store.
SK Planet's platform also includes information services that can be accessed by tapping the tags, including information on tourist attractions. The service also suggests the most popular shops to visit based on NFC tag traffic data.
SK Telecom is also trialling the Shin-Okubo service with its own subscribers, who can use the service when they travel to Tokyo.
According to SK Planet, the commercial nature of the district and its visitor demographics were factors in deciding on the location for the NFC Zone. For the future, expansion of both the system's functionality and its geographic availability are planned.
"Starting from Shin-Okubo district, SK Planet will provide diverse NFC-enabled services such as payment, membership, and much more and showcase our world-class technology," says SK Planet's Lee Jae-hwan.
"We plan to launch diverse NFC service solutions in neighbouring economies of Japan, China and Southeast Asia by leveraging our extensive technological know-how accumulated through taking a leadership role in the global standardisation of NFC."