Features Section

Analysts: Starbucks’ Bar-Code Embrace Unlikely to Slow NFC

By: 
Tom Zind

While NFC-based mobile payment could roll out by late this year, Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee shop chain, has made it clear it is not prepared to wait.

First Trickle of Android NFC Apps Appear Before Expected Flood

By: 
Dan Balaban

A restaurant-couponing app developed by a tiny startup based in Greenwich, Conn., appeared today in the Android Market store, believed to be the first commercial NFC app for new Android phones in what observers predict will become a flood of new services for the smartphones.

Bling Continues to Seek a Breakout with Recent Moves

By: 
Tom Zind

Bling Nation, the fledgling U.S. mobile-payments company, may be in the midst of a course adjustment, as it seeks to increase its visibility and broaden its value to merchants and consumers alike.

Canadian Transit Card Operator: Not So Fast to Open-Loop Payment

By: 
Tom Zind, for NFC Times

Although it plans to eventually enable riders to directly pay their fares with contactless credit and debit cards, the operator of a new regional closed-loop transit card scheme in Canada’s largest province, Ontario, prefers to take a more cautious path to open-loop payment.

Bringing Facebook Fans into the Store with Contactless Technology

By: 
Dan Balaban

Merchants are becoming skillful at promoting themselves on Facebook–right down to getting their "fans" to post flattering comments and photos on the company page and purchasing from their online stores.

Building A Bling Nation: Progress Remains Promising–But Slow

By: 
Tom Zind, for NFC Times

A year into the slow rollout of Bling Nation’s mobile-payment service in the United States, and one thing is clear: There’s pent-up demand for shaking up the status quo and poking a symbolic finger in the eye of entrenched interests.

UK: Merchant Acceptance Makes Strides, But No Breakthrough Yet

By: 
Dan Balaban

The rollout of contactless payment in the United Kingdom will soon enter its fourth year, yet the vast majority of cards are still being issued by just one bank, Barclays, and no large retail chain has widely deployed the technology.

'Open' Warfare Breaks Out Among NFC Vendors Over Android

By: 
Dan Balaban

With rumors heating up that makers of Android smartphones will add NFC chips to “several” models due out by the first part of next year, the battles among suppliers of those chips and the software that supports them has been heating up, as well.

NFC Ticketing: Interoperability Problems on the Road Ahead?

France’s much-anticipated NFC demonstration project scheduled to launch Friday in Nice will feature a variety of applications, including bank payment. But the premier service is expected to be transit ticketing.

Polish Telcos and Banks Interested in NFC; Bemoan Lack of Phones

By: 
Dan Balaban

Polish mobile operator Polkomtel has not yet launched its planned NFC mobile-payment project–set to start in June with 500 users–but it is already talking about expanding it.

HEADLINE NEWS

Contactless Payments Continues to Grow for Transport for London, Helped by Fare Capping

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Transport for London this week was again trumpeting its move to open-loop fare collection with contactless credit and debit cards and applications on NFC phones–noting that contactless payments now accounts for half of all pay-as-you-go metro and rail rides in and around the UK’s capital.

Visa and Mastercard Hope New Online Payments Spec Will Accelerate Rollout of Tokens; U.S. Merchant Group Blasts Network Move as Anticompetitive

Apr 26 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Major card networks Visa and Mastercard hope a new technical framework for online transactions they are backing from their jointly owned EMVCo specifications group will help them keep more transactions on their networks, amid growing competition for mobile and other digital payments and lackluster take-up of the networks’ respective online digital wallets, Visa Checkout and Masterpass.

Second Smartwatch Supports Fitbit Pay, but Payments Service Remains Fragmented

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Struggling wearables maker Fitbit on Monday began selling its second smartwatch, the Fitbit Versa, supporting its NFC-enabled Fitbit Pay service, but not all versions of the new device support NFC in the U.S.

WeChat Pay Touts Access by Merchants to Consumer Data, Messaging Channel

Apr 10 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Both Ant Financial and Tencent Holdings have used their hundreds of millions of users, ready access to Chinese bank accounts, billions of yuan in subsidies for merchants and consumers and protected market status in China against Western competitors to build a combined mobile payments business valued in the trillions of U.S. dollars in transactions.

Regulations Take Effect in China to Limit Risk of Static QR Codes Used by Alipay, WeChat Pay and Others

Apr 4 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Daily limits on QR code- and bar code-based transactions in China have taken effect–mainly hitting Ant Financial and its rival Tencent Holdings­, providers of respective digital payments services Alipay and WeChat Pay.  

Apple Pay Finally Enables Transit Ticketing in Beijing and Shanghai, but It May be Too Late to Turn Back QR Code-Based Wallets

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – After being beaten by rival handset makers Huawei, Xiaomi and even Samsung to the launch of NFC transit ticketing in China, Apple today finally began enabling riders in two major cities, Beijing and Shanghai, to tap to pay fares using closed-loop transit ticketing cards.

China UnionPay Seeks to Bolster Use of Brand for Mobile Payments Overseas; Will It Make a Difference?

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – China’s dominant bank card network, UnionPay, which is badly losing its battle for mobile payments market share among Chinese consumers to rivals Ant Financial and Tencent Holdings–both at home and abroad–is taking steps to try to gain some ground.

Japan Begins Overdue Move to Standard NFC Acceptance

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Japan was the first country to roll out contactless-mobile payments–starting in 2004–but it still does not accept standard, internationally interoperable NFC payments to any real extent, unlike most developed markets.

Google Seeks to Sign Up More Merchants for Tez App in India as Competition Heats Up

Mar 21 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – SINGAPORE: Google is seeking to sign up more small merchants and encourage more retail payments with its Tez mobile payments service in India, an app now mainly used for peer-to-peer funds transfers.

Apple Pay Could Get More Single-Tap Rewards in Next Few Months but Technology is Not Proving Easy to Roll Out

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Restaurant loyalty platform vendor Punchh could enable its delayed single-tap loyalty and rewards service with Apple Pay in the second quarter of this year at as many as six quick-service and fast-casual restaurant chains, the vendor told NFC Times.

Visa Sees Range of Use Cases for QR Code-Based Payments, as It Seeks to Address Threat from New Payments Players

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Visa, which last summer announced it would introduce QR code-based payments to Taiwan by the end of this year, has recently briefed Taiwanese bankers on the planned architecture, use cases and some other details of the technology, NFC Times has learned.