We should have such problems

[Dave Birch] Well, I have to start this post by saying a big thank you: actually, a set of big thank yous. Thank you to Visa Europe and Webmoney for sponsoring this year’s Digital Money Forum: I’ve already received some exceedingly complimentary e-mails about the event and it just wouldn’t be possible without the support of sponsors like these (ie, sponsors who share the Forum’s goals for discussion, debate and learning). Thank you to everyone who came: as always we cut it off at 100 people, and all of them joined in the conversation. Thank you to ACI Worldwide for sponsoring the pub quiz and drinks, which were tremendous fun: the Digital Money Mastermind 2008 was Dominic Peachey from the Financial Service Authority. And a special thanks to my blogpals: Chris Skinner (UK), Scott Loftesness (USA), Colin Henderson (Canada) and Aneace Haddad (Singapore). It was a pleasure to sit on a panel with them today on the “Meet the Bloggers” panel moderated by Steve Bowbrick.

Anyway, in the mobile panel session at the Digital Money Forum today, there was a debate over the use of contactless mobiles in Japan. I’ve just looked up the figures that were in my head in the report I was thinking about. I love the tone of this report — someone sent me the link a couple of days ago. It concerns a survey (last month) of Japanese mobile phone users which found that:

Meanwhile, the ratios of respondents who have used “GPS (global positioning services)” and the “Osaifu-Keitai/FeliCa (contactless mobile IC card)” functions were low at 18.7 and 15.5%, respectively.

[From Survey: Less Than 20% Japanese Use Cellphone as Contactless IC Card, GPS — Tech-On!]

Only a sixth of mobile phone subscribers use their handsets as contactless wallets! ONLY A SIXTH!! Well, here in the U.K. it’s about 0.001% so I’m quite jealous. Not just of Japan, but of lots of other places. One of Consult Hyperion’s newest clients is based in Georgia, where the People’s Bank has already started rolling out an NFC service:

In 2008 our clients will be able to use this service in more than 1 000 locations. We plan to equip more than 150 billboards with RFID tags for NFC mobiles. People’s Bank is starting an instalment payment plan to make NFC mobile phones available to substantial parts of the population. Iberia Business Group made the decision to award everyone who buys a car at their company an NFC mobile for free.

[From The FINANCIAL, News That Makes Money, Business News & Multimedia – NFC Mobile Phones Now in Georgia]

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