NTT DoCoMo sets up global m-commerce unit

17 February 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo is launching a worldwide mobile commerce ecosystem aimed at consumers, companies and the public sector.

The company says it is building and operating digital media platforms, mobile payment services, such as direct carrier billing and mobile wallet, as well as offering technical support, mobile commerce consultancy and financial services through banking and e-money licences.

Hiroyuki Sato, CEO of the new division, DoCoMo Digital, which will be based in London, said: “Since 2009 we have patiently built and developed DoCoMo Digital into an organisation that can drive the evolution of mobile commerce. We are excited about the future of mobile and believe that it is the most logical pathway to achieving true, global financial inclusion for everyone.”

NTT DoCoMo has been building up the business by buying specialist providers, including Germany’s Net Mobile, which it bought in January 2016, and Italy’s Buongiorno, which it acquired in 2012 for $267 million. The project will be formally launched next week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The company has been working on the project for six years, said DoCoMo Digital, on an acquisition and testing phase, to create a mobile commerce infrastructure to support operators, merchants and governments across the world. The company said it “addresses regulatory and commercial issues between participants and operates a global technical platform on which mobile commerce ecosystems can be securely built and managed”.

Sato said: “We have brought together key assets and capabilities to enable mobile commerce for mobile network operators, digital and real-world service providers, merchants and regulators. In a nutshell, we provide expertise, technology and operational services to bring to life next generation mobile commerce platforms.”

Capacity will be interviewing Sato about the launch of DoCoMo Digital at MWC in Barcelona.