News about the NFC market in Japan — trials, pilots, tests and live services.
February 18th, 2015
The US and Canada accounted for 63% of a total 5.7m NFC-enabled Nintendo Amiibo figurines sold at the end of 2014, followed by Europe in second place with 23%, Japan with 11% and Australia with 3%. “The sell-through proportion of the total shipment is approximately 70% in each of Japan, US and Canada and Europe, while it reaches 90% in Australia,” Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed during the company’s third quarter financial results briefing.
January 9th, 2015
Japanese instant messaging giant Line has launched a taxi service in Tokyo that lets users of its app summon a cab provided by Nihon Kotsu, the largest taxi limousine rental company in the country, and pay for it using Line Pay. Line Pay was unveiled in October 2014 as a mobile payment solution for in-store, online and bill-splitting and was launched in December.
January 5th, 2015
Japan’s KDDI has launched an LTE smartphone with NFC that runs Mozilla’s Firefox OS, the open mobile platform advocated by the Firefox browser maker. The LG Fx0 offers a 4.7-inch HD screen and is powered by a 1.2GHz quad core Snapdragon processor running Firefox OS 2.0, the latest version of Mozilla’s operating system.
December 17th, 2014
Line Pay, the mobile payments service unveiled in October by Tokyo-based instant messaging service Line, has made its global debut with the release of version 4.8.0 of the Line app. “At the first stage of its release, Line Pay will only support payments on Line Store,” the company explains. “Select Line Pay when paying on Line Store to open the Line Pay service, then simply select a credit card to pay with to complete the purchase.”
December 10th, 2014
A Nintendo 3DS system update has enabled the NFC capabilities built into the latest Japan-only edition of the handheld games console, Nintendo Life reports. The update makes it possible for players to use the 3DS’s NFC reader to pay for downloaded games with a standard contactless card and also lets players use Amiibo NFC figures with both the 3DS and the Nintendo Wii U for the first time. A Japanese language video produced by Nintendo shows how the service works.
November 21st, 2014
Japanese startup TenTen Technologies is to offer retailers USB-based Bluetooth beacons that plug into POS terminals and vending machines so that rewards can be issued automatically to users of the company’s mobile app when they…
November 18th, 2014
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons that use energy harvesting technology to avoid the need to change batteries have been installed by Japan Airlines (JAL) at 13 major Japanese airports to provide users of its JAL…
October 22nd, 2014
Tokyo-based jeweller Core Jewels is taking orders for the world’s first high-end diamond jewellery products that come equipped with NFC. NFC-enabled items in the ‘One’ range include rings, necklaces and charms made of gold and…
October 20th, 2014
October 14th, 2014
Instant messaging service Line has announced plans to offer mobile payments to users in Japan from later this year. Line Pay will support mobile payments in stores and online as well as splitting bills between friends. Transactions will be protected by a password and the service will make use of Touch ID to secure transactions made by iOS users.
October 13th, 2014
Pay with Hailo, a service that uses Apple’s iBeacon technology to let users of the Hailo taxi hailing app pay drivers with their smartphone, is experiencing “steady growth”, Naoise Irwin, the company’s VP of strategic…
September 1st, 2014
Nintendo will include a built-in NFC chip in the next versions of its 3DS and 3DS XL handheld games consoles, at least in Japan, the company has revealed in its latest 3DS Direct video briefing. The NFC functionality provides “support for Nintendo’s upcoming Amiibo toy line,” CNet reports. Nintendo will also sell an NFC adapter for existing models.
August 26th, 2014
NTT Docomo, Japan’s largest mobile phone carrier, is to use Gemalto’s Allynis trusted service management (TSM) service and its UpTeq SIMs for the rollout of its NFC platform. “The launch will deliver a rich variety of contactless services encompassing mobile payments, loyalty programs, e-ticketing and access control,” Gemalto says.
July 21st, 2014
Nintendo Wii U users in Japan can now use the NFC interface built into their GamePad controller to purchase games with a Suica contactless payment card. The plan to offer contactless payments was detailed by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in May this year. Gamers that use the service will receive Suica loyalty rewards at the rate of one point for every ¥200 they spend.
July 17th, 2014
Apple has introduced a digital version of the iTunes gift card in Japan that replaces the need for customers to buy a physical card. “To substitute for a physical gift card, iTunes Pass installs a new pass inside of the iOS Passbook application,” 9to5Mac reports.
July 15th, 2014
Japan Airlines staff at Tokyo’s Haneda airport are being provided with smartwatches that work in conjunction with Bluetooth Low Energy beacons, to give management a way to assign staff more efficiently and respond more swiftly to customer requests.
July 10th, 2014
Japanese toy maker Bandai is to include NFC in the next version of its Tamagotchi electronic pets, enabling owners to tap their device on ‘Touch Spots’ and against other Tamagotchis and smartphones to exchange items and play games. Tamagotchi 4U will be released in September and Bandai expects to sell one million units by the end of March 2015.
July 1st, 2014
Japan-based payments network JCB is to begin testing a contactless payments service in Tokyo this month, ahead of a commercial rollout in 2015. “In addition to plastic cards, J/Speedy can be issued for a wide…
May 13th, 2014
Twentieth Century Fox is to use Bluetooth beacons to promote the new X-Men: Days of Future Past movie to cinema-goers in Japan. The campaign makes use of Access Beacon Framework (ABF), a location-aware content distribution system that combines Bluetooth Low Energy beacons, smartphone apps and a cloud-based platform to push the promotion to iOS users.
May 8th, 2014
A new Nintendo Figurine Platform and a range of NFC toys that makes use of the NFC functionality in the Wii U GamePad is to be unveiled at the E3 games show next month, company president Satoru Iwata has announced. A standalone device that will enable NFC toys to be used with the Nintendo 3DS handheld console will also be introduced and NFC payments for games are to added, initially in Japan, from this summer.