Japan's leading wireless carrier, NTT DoCoMo, signed a deal with fast food company McDonald's that will let DoCoMo subscribers buy food at the restaurant chain by using their mobile phones. Do you want fries with that mobile payment?The deal represents a ¥300 million joint venture, which will start in July this year. Under the agreement, McDonald's will install terminals in its stores that interact with DoCoMo's Osaifu-Keitai e-wallet services.
Under the system, paying will be a snap. A user just touches their cell phone to the checkout, and then off they go with their food. Their McDonald's tally will show up on their next DoCoMo cell phone bill. The services will be available starting in October 2007.
Earlier this month, mobile banking was one of the top news items at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona. While Japan has been a big market for mobile payments, the technology has stalled in other markets, especially in the United States. Some wireless industry insiders claim 2007 could be the year mobile banking finally takes off.