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

Payments Wearables in 2017: Market Makes Progress but Continues to Move Slowly

Dec 20 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While major smartwatch makers are enabling payments from their high-end devices, and there might be an announcement of another major wearables maker supporting payments at next month’s CES trade event, progress is slow for the technology to move to the range of lower-end smartwatches, fitness bands and such passive devices as rings, fobs and bracelets.

French Aerospace and Defense Group Thales Outbids Atos for Gemalto; Would Create Global Digital Security Unit

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Less than a week after Gemalto’s board unanimously rejected an acquisition offer from France-based IT and consulting group Atos, complaining that Atos’ bid at €46 (US$54.18) per share “significantly undervalued the company” and that Gemalto is “best positioned to grow successfully on a standalone basis,” the board has publicly changed course and has unanimously approved a takeover offer from France-based Thales that is only 11% higher.

Mastercard Announces Plans to Enable QR Code-Based Payments in Taiwan

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Mastercard has announced it will support QR code-based payments in Taiwan starting next year, working with the country’s largest credit card acquirer and processor and also Taiwan’s nascent domestic debit card network.

Samsung Pay Launches Octopus in Hong Kong, with Samsung's Latest Flagships Supporting FeliCa Technology

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – In the race among the major Pays wallets to add NFC transit ticketing to their mobile payments services, Samsung scored a win over Apple, with today’s launch of “Smart Octopus” with Samsung Pay.

Gemalto Rejects Proposed Atos €4.3 Billion Takeover; Contends Bid Price 'Significantly Undervalues' Company

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The board of struggling French smart card and security vendor Gemalto has rejected an all-cash €4.3 billion (US$5.08 billion) takeover bid by France-based IT services and consulting company Atos, calling Atos’ €46-per-share bid “opportunistic,” and contending that it “significantly undervalues” the company, among other objections.

In-Depth: Atos Offers €4.3 Billion to Acquire Struggling French Vendor Gemalto

Dec 14 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – French IT services group Atos hopes to bolster its cybersecurity, IoT and payments offers with its €4.3 billion (US$5.07 billion) unsolicited bid to buy struggling France-based smart card and digital security vendor Gemalto.

Mastercard Quietly Certifies First Data and PayPal to Tokenize Mastercard-Branded Cards

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Mastercard has opened up tokenization of Mastercard-branded card accounts to two other major payments industry players, First Data and PayPal, enabling them to tokenize Mastercard-branded cards for mobile and other digital payments services as an alternative to Mastercard’s own token service, MDES, NFC Times has learned.

Apple Launches P2P Payments Featuring Own Digital Payment Card; Should Banks Worry?

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – A key part of Apple’s new Apple Pay Cash peer-to-peer payments service is its digital prepaid debit card–which can be used for in-store NFC purchases and other transactions–a first for the tech giant.

Target Shuns NFC and Apple Pay as Expected with New Wallet; Service Features Private-Label Card

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Target has added its long-anticipated 2-D bar code-based wallet to its mobile app, following rival Wal-Mart Stores in launching its own payments service and shunning NFC and contactless, as expected.

Belgian Domestic Debit Network Seeks to Expand Use of Mobile Payments, Though Consumer Habits Hard to Break

Dec 1 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Belgium’s domestic debit network Bancontact is offering both QR code and NFC-based mobile payments services with 20 banks in the country, as backers seek to expand use by consumers of mobile and contactless payments, which each make up only around 1% of total Bancontact transactions.

Korean and Taiwanese Banks Test Loyalty Points Exchange Using Blockchain

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – KEB Hana Bank of South Korea and Taishin International Bank of Taiwan have demonstrated the transfer of bonus points and purchase of coupons using Blockchain technology, with KEB Hana Bank planning to launch initial service for visitors to the Winter Olympics next February in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Norwegian Banks Move to Defend Against Global Tech Giants by Uniting Payments Services

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight –  The “Pays” wallets, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, have not yet launched in Norway, but Norwegian banks are not waiting for tech giants Apple and Google or other outside behemoths, such as Facebook, to try to gain a foothold.