Features Section

Some Banks Continue to Look for Alternatives to SIM-based NFC

By: 
Dan Balaban

While mobile operators continue to push for the SIM card to become the de facto secure element in NFC phones, some banks and other service providers are still seeking alternatives.

South Korea Takes Lead Globally in NFC Rollouts with Millions of Phones and SIMs

By: 
Dan Balaban

While mobile operators in most other countries are still struggling to roll out even scant volumes of NFC phones that can do payment, ticketing and other applications, South Korea’s telcos have already crossed the 5 million-phone mark–including NFC versions of such high-profile devices as the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note.

The Year Ahead for NFC: Major M-Commerce Rollouts Unlikely Until 2013

By: 
Dan Balaban

2012 was going to be the year that the new era of NFC-based mobile commerce had finally arrived–with Google Wallet rolling out widely, mobile operators in the U.S. and Europe making significant inroads with their own mobile wallets and big Asian m-commerce players generally commercializing NFC, as well.

Maker of Rugged Phones Enters NFC Market; is Its Price Right?

By: 
Dan Balaban

Sonim Technologies, the maker of rugged work phones, has introduced its first NFC-enabled handset, betting that cleaning companies, security guard firms and home-health care agencies are ready for a more durable–and higher-priced–NFC phone for workforce management.

UK Contactless to Reach a Tipping Point in 2011?

By: 
Dan Balaban

Contactless payment continues to grow rapidly in the United Kingdom, but transaction volume is still low, and it remains open to debate whether 2011 will be a tipping point for the technology.

Report: Vast Majority of Consumers Will Need Push to Use NFC Payment

By: 
Dan Balaban

Fewer than 2% of consumers are “highly likely” to adopt NFC payments immediately after the technology is rolled out, according to UK-based research firm Datamonitor.

Analysis: Quick Tap Launches Fast but Expect Slow Take-up

By: 
Dan Balaban

Mobile operator Orange UK and payment issuer Barclaycard face challenges as they seek to get their “Quick Tap” service off the ground, say UK analysts.

Infineon to Focus on Market for NFC Secure Elements

By: 
Dan Balaban

Germany-based chip maker Infineon Technologies has no plans to join its rivals in producing NFC chips–instead focusing on secure elements that can store payment and other applications in NFC phones.

M-Pesa Mobile-Money Service to Use NFC? Not Anytime Soon

By: 
Dan Balaban

The business development lead for Vodafone Group’s mobile payment solutions unit, which runs the popular M-Pesa mobile funds-transfer service in Kenya, said the telco has no plans to introduce NFC to the offer.

In Open-Loop Drive, Transit Agencies Can’t Leave Unbanked Behind

By: 
Tom Zind

With Transport for London’s recent announcement confirming it would be the first big transit authority to accept bank cards for bus and metro fares, momentum continues to build for other large transit authorities to go to open-loop payment.

HEADLINE NEWS

In-Depth: In-Car Payments Gears Up but Takes Time to Get Rolling

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Car manufacturers, payments networks and platform providers continue to make deals as they gear up for the much-anticipated arrival of in-car payments–which would enable motorists to buy gasoline, pay for parking and purchase food for takeout, all from their dashboards.

Golden Globes Trophies Get Provisioned Like Payments Wearables to Ensure Authenticity

NFC TIMES Exclusive – The 76th Annual Golden Globes held Sunday featured the usual share of Hollywood celebrities preening for the cameras, showing off their new designer gowns and latest nips and tucks, while holding their trophies high if they won.

Japanese Megabank Mizuho Plans to Launch New Digital Currency Soon for Mobile Payments Service

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Japanese megabank Mizuho will reportedly move forward with its planned launch of a new digital currency to enable QR code-based mobile payments in stores and for funds transfers–with plans to cut the fees merchants will pay to accept the new payments scheme, as compared with credit cards.

More QR Code Payments Services Planned for Japan, Home of Original Contactless-Mobile Rollouts

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Japan, the first market globally to adopt contactless-mobile payments, in 2004, with a technology similar to NFC, will see its two largest convenience store chains introduce their own mobile payments services this year–both using bar codes or QR codes instead of NFC.

Analysis: Commonwealth Bank’s Agreement to Support Apple Pay Could Mark Turning Point for Apple’s Bank Recruitment Efforts

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – With its capitulation last week to Apple and agreement to participate in the tech giant’s payments service, Australia’s largest financial institution, Commonwealth Bank–which had once vowed not to support Apple Pay–shows that Apple is making headway with major banks that had once resisted supporting the NFC wallet.

Major Bus Company Stagecoach Finishes Contactless Rollout as UK Moves Toward Transit Ticketing Interoperability

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The UK’s largest bus operator has announced that it has completed its rollout of open-loop payments acceptance on 7,400 buses in the country, declaring itself the “single largest contactless transit merchant in Europe outside London.”

In-Depth: Australian Transit Authority Rolls Out Open-Loop Payments After Lengthy Trial

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Transport for New South Wales, Australia–the transit authority that oversees trains, buses and ferries in and around Sydney–decided to roll out its open-loop payments service to all train services following an extensive trial.

Canadian Transit Authority Introduces Low-End Wearable for Closed-Loop Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – When Vancouver-area transit authority TransLink introduced open-loop fare payments last May, it was clear that the agency was not planning to phase out its closed-loop Compass Card anytime soon.

In-Depth: Swedish Hybrid Watch Brand Kronaby to Launch Payments Wearables with Innovative Provisioning System

NFC TIMES Exclusive – In one of the first implementations of its kind, Sweden-based hybrid smartwatch brand Kronaby plans to enable personalization of tokenized payment cards over the air using a Bluetooth connection to what is essentially a passive contactless chip in its watches.

Analysis: Apple Again Touts Apple Pay Growth, While Still Not Releasing Details on Transactions

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple again reported a tripling of transactions for its payments service, Apple Pay, during its fiscal quarter ending in September, while noting other achievements. But the growth is believed to be off of a relatively low base, and four years after launching the payments service, Apple is still not releasing detailed numbers about its transactions.

In-Depth: Chinese Payments Players Accelerate Rollouts of Transit Fare Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While mobile payments are rolling out slowly at metro gates and aboard buses in the West, Chinese mobile payments players are accelerating deployments of their services that enable consumers to tap–or more likely scan–to ride.

Major U.S. Networks Promote Online Commerce Spec, Seeking to Keep Digital Transactions on Their Networks, but Not All Merchants are On Board

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Major U.S.-based global networks, including Visa, Mastercard and American Express–hoping to keep transactions on their networks as more commerce goes online and digital–amplified their push for the Secure Remote Commerce specification, which is being drafted by their jointly owned payments specifications group, EMVCo.