Think of Singapore’s latest efforts to turn everyone’s phone into a mobile wallet to pay for taxi rides, burgers and groceries, and the phrase deja vu may not be far from your mind.
As the city-state’s infocomm regulator and its industry partners embark on an ambitious S$40 million project, unveiled today, to let mobile phone users here tap and pay with their phones at some 20,000 payment points by next year, they could perhaps remember a lesson or two from the past.
If they succeed, users will be able to trot out their smartphones to pay for a burger at McDonald’s instead of using an ez-link card by mid-2012. A year later, in 2013, commuters may also be able to tap their phones at train station gantries to pay for their rides – if the transport authorities and companies get their act together.
But Singapore has seen numerous such trials over the years, even as places like Japan and Hong Kong have raced ahead with more advanced payment options. …