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October 10, 2013

Mobile payment services using NFC SIMs equipped with Sony FeliCa™ technology to begin in Hong Kong

- 'Octopus' contactless smart card payment services can now be loaded in smartphones -

Tokyo, Japan - October 10, 2013 - Sony Corporation ("Sony") is pleased to announce that mobile solutions incorporating its FeliCa™ technology will be used in Octopus, a popular Hong Kong contactless smart card payment service used for public transport and retail payment. Octopus Cards Limited (OCL) announced the public pilot launch of Hong Kong's first Octopus mobile payment service enabled by its newest FeliCa-compatible NFC SIM card product - the Octopus Mobile SIM - today.

As part of its strategy to develop mobile solutions globally, Sony is collaborating with major SIM manufacturers to incorporate FeliCa-compatible technology in NFC SIM cards. NFC SIM cards are SIM devices that deliver card service functionality for NFC-compatible mobile phones in a secure, multi-application format.

This new joint development with OCL will enable users to access the same services as those offered by the conventional Octopus cards and products, simply by installing the FeliCa-based Applet for Octopus payment services on the NFC SIM card supplied by Gemalto*1, and inserting this NFC SIM into their NFC-capable smartphone.

At the time these new services commence, the first compatible handsets will be from Sony Xperia™ models, including Xperia V, Z, ZR, Z Ultra(3G), Z Ultra(LTE) and Z1, fitted with one of these SIM cards and with a subscription of local mobile network operator PCCW-HKT's paid mobile service plan. These handsets will enable users to conveniently use Hong Kong’s popular Octopus services for public transport or retail payment simply by tapping their smartphone on the Octopus card reader.

FeliCa contactless IC card technology has been built into mobile phones in Japan since 2004. A wide variety of card services have been developed, including public transport tickets, electronic money and various types of ID services. The technology is well established in the market, and is showing continued expansion.

NFC-compatible mobile phones are continuing to grow in popularity around the world as the specs for this technology advances. Despite this, large-scale card services incorporating NFC technology are still relatively rare outside countries such as Japan and South Korea.

On this occasion, Sony has been working closely with OCL to develop contactless payment services for FeliCa-compatible NFC smartphones in Hong Kong, a part of the globe known for its progressive and sophisticated use of contactless smart card services.

Sony plans to use this latest development as another opportunity to integrate NFC mobile phones with FeliCa technology, to further expand useful services in other countries.

*1: http://www.sony.co.uk/pro/press/lc-thailand-update-1111

Description of the structure of NFC smartphones and FeliCa-compatible NFC SIMs

For access to multiple card services on your smartphone, simply insert the FeliCa-compatible NFC SIM into your NFC smartphone and install the FeliCa Applet for card services on the NFC SIM.
This structure adopts SWP/HCI/GP 2.2 global standards, and can be applied to the global market for NFC mobile phones that incorporate NFC SIMs.
  • NFC smartphones and FeliCa-compatible NFC SIMs

About Octopus

Launched in 1997, Hong Kong's Octopus is one of the world's leading and most extensive smartcard payment systems, used by over 5,400 service providers with some 65,000 Octopus readers deployed in the market across different businesses including public transport, parking, retail, vending machines and kiosks, schools and leisure facilities, and access control for residential and commercial buildings. Merchants and Octopus holders embrace Octopus for both its simplicity and its convenience. Today, more than 23 million Octopus cards and products are in circulation, and the system handles over 12 million transactions a day, with transaction value exceeding HK$130 million. In recent years, Octopus has been exporting its unique experience and technology overseas, offering consultancy services across the world. Additional information can be found at www.octopus.com.hk.
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