Felica is intriguing not only because of the technology but also because of
the business model and how this would transplant to a European environment.
As I understand it:
a) there is the card itself and the RFID technology associated with it.
b) there is the operation and maintenance of the eWallet
c) there is charges and distribution of funds for the merchants
Are they not a variety of companies associated with each leg with DoCoMo
taking an equity share?
For the eWallet, the mobile companies in Europe already have millions and
millions of these – they are called pre-paid accounts and have real-time
charging and balances.
All operators already offer credit facilities to certain customers and
sophisticated mechanisms for controlling credit.
Also, throughout there are thousands of electronic "top-up" points
distributed which are certainly shared in the UK by the main five operators.
What seems to be missing is the RFID technology putting into the phones,
the distribution of the readers into merchants and the commitment to
interface the readers with the merchants computing systems.
Also, the clearing house to distribute the funds to the merchants. I would
assume that this is the key. Banks would be reluctant players because of the
money they earn from credit and debit cards. You would have to undercut
these to make it work?? Perhaps doing the same as in Japanese and offering
key merchant, such as for instance the supermarkets an equity share in the
So to me:
The "instigator" will get an equity share in a business which compares to
VISA, Amex etc…
The Mobile Companies will win by having larger funds in the prepaid account
and the mobile becoming more ubiquitous and perhaps taking a cut of
"electronic media sales" which they currently already do for mobile content,
but perhaps could be extended for non-mobile content (e.g. PC commerce etc).
After all, the pure SIM card is probably the best digital authentication
tool deployed widespread in the world?
The merchants win by having lower transaction costs than with credit/debit
cards. There is low lying fruit for vending machines, railways etc..
On 9/21/05, Gerhard Fasol <fasol_at_eurotechnology.com> wrote:
> Jan Michael Hess wrote:
> > Thus I expect Vodafone to be the one to push FeliCa or its
> > competing technology from Philips (www.mifare.net<http://www.mifare.net>)
> in Europe
> > once they have learned the benefit in Japan.
> Vodafone will not necessarily benefit of FeliCa in Japan,
> since DoCoMo is firmly in control, and although I do
> not know the details of the contracts, the way I understand
> it, Vodafone is DoCoMo's customer regarding FeliCa/walletphones.
[ excessive quoting removed by moderator ]
Received on Wed Sep 21 13:46:15 2005