Latest News

Large Russian Bank, Like Other Issuers, Finding HCE Not So Easy to Roll Out

NFC Times Exclusive – Last May, when the venture capital arm of Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, and vendor Sequent Software publicized plans for launching NFC mobile payments with both embedded chips and host-card emulation, the publically stated plan was for short pilots leading to launches before the end of the year.

USA Technologies’ Support for Apple Pay Includes No New Terminals

NFC Times Exclusive – An announcement Tuesday by USA Technologies of a “nationwide rollout of (200,000) new acceptance points for Apple Pay” was merely a show of support for Apple's new payments platform, not a new deployment or upgrade to existing equipment, NFC Times has learned, and the vendor’s unattended point-of-sale terminals will continue to accept other forms of NFC and contactless payments.

NXP Semiconductors Sues Marvell for Alleged Patent Infringement

Netherlands-based chip maker NXP Semiconductors has filed a patent infringement suit against rival chip maker, U.S.-based Marvell Semiconductor, which claims that Marvell infringed on four of its U.S. patents in chips sold to Microsoft for its Xbox One gaming console.

Wirecard Has Much to Prove with Prototype HCE Wristband, but ‘Smart Band’ Wearable a Market First

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Germany-based white-label payments software and prepaid payments services provider Wirecard is not taking sides in the debate between SIM-based mobile payments and HCE, despite its recent launch of the first wearable device to support HCE, executive vice president Joern Leogrande told NFC Times.

Spanish Airline Adds NFC Card Tapping to Mobile Booking App

Jan 28 2015

Spanish airline Vueling has added an NFC feature to its mobile application, allowing users to tap a contactless card with an NFC handset to fill in part of their card data, which they could then use to book a flight with the app.

Bank Card Group BKM Throws Support Behind HCE, as Turkey Continues to Move Away from SIM-Based NFC

Jan 23 2015

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Turkish payment card organization and network BKM has chosen HCE payments over the SIM-based service it had launched previously, with a representative telling NFC Times that the banking group believes HCE will be simpler to deploy and more popular with consumers than SIM-based services, which have seen low consumer take-up in the country.

OTI Announces Wave Attachment for Taiwan, but Actual Deployment Small

Israel-based NFC vendor On Track Innovations has announced the deployment of its NFC-enabled Wave smartphone attachment in Taiwan, targeted for the iPhone, though only 10,000 units are being distributed, and Apple has not yet approved an iOS wallet app used with the devices for a planned mobile-payments service by Taiwanese banks, NFC Times has learned.

Year Ahead for NFC: Tokenization, Apple Pay Expansion, HCE Among Trends to Watch

NFC Times Exclusive – 2015 will mark the first full year of Apple Pay and expansion of the payment service internationally, along with the coming of payment wearables led by Apple Watch, and the much needed maturing for host-card emulation and associated tokenization.

Softcard Cuts Jobs, Restructures, in Sign that Telco Owners are Losing Patience with Joint Venture

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Softcard’s jobs cuts are more severe than earlier reported, and the layoffs are a sign that the mobile carriers making up the joint venture have rejected a 2015 budget proposed by management of the struggling NFC wallet, NFC Times has learned.

NFC Forum Working on Specification for Tags Supporting ISO 15693 Standard

NFC Times Exclusive – The NFC Forum is working on a tag Type 5 specification based on the ISO/IEC 15693 standard, NFC Forum executive director Paula Hunter has confirmed to NFC Times. She did not release a timeframe for publishing of the new specification, however.

Poland Seen as Testing Ground for HCE, Though Timetable for Commercial Launches Uncertain

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – With its high penetration of contactless POS terminals and strong use of contactless cards, payment networks, banks and telcos have seen Poland as a t

Broadcom Announces NFC Chip Aimed at Automotive Market as It Targets IoT

U.S.-based chip maker Broadcom announced it is sampling a new NFC chip targeting the automotive market.

Top 10 Misses for NFC in 2014; Project Backers Look to Recover Momentum in 2015

Jan 7 2015

NFC Times Exclusive – While the NFC industry saw a breakthrough in 2014 with the launch of Apple Pay, the year also was marked by a number of disappointments and missed opportunities.

Banking TSM Joint Venture Announces Launch of Service in Taiwan’s Fragmented NFC Market

NFC Times Exclusive Insight: TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan’s banking joint venture, Taiwan Mobile Payment Co., as expected, announced the launch of its TSM service Tuesday, with at least 32 Taiwanese banks planning to make their Visa- and MasterCard-branded payment cards available to be downloaded and provisioned by the TSM.

Taiwan’s Telco TSM Joint Venture Announces Launch Plans, but Faces Market Challenges

Dec 30 2014

NFC Times Exclusive Insight: TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan’s mobile operator TSM joint venture Thursday announced plans to launch NFC service in the second quarter, following a trial within the next few months–though it remains to be seen when the JV will be ready for a full-scale commercial launch.

RBC: HCE Pilot to Lead to 2015 Commercial Launch; But Bank Says it Will Keep Hybrid Payments Service

NFC Times Exclusive – The Royal Bank of Canada plans a commercial launch of host-card emulation in 2015 following a small employee pilot of HCE payments, but declined to specify a date, head of payments innovation Jeremy Bornstein told NFC times in an interview.

Mozido Acquires NFC and Wallet Vendor CorFire, Plans to Continue TSM

U.S.-based Mozido has acquired majority ownership of SK C&C USA, known as CorFire, giving the Austin-based supplier of cloud-based, white-label mobile payments and commerce products NFC technology.

Case Study: One Year on, Tim Hortons' HCE App Not Yet Available for Android Devices

NFC Times Exclusive – A year after its launch of closed-loop HCE NFC payments for BlackBerry 10 devices, Canadian-based coffee chain Tim Hortons has yet to roll out HCE for Android, continuing to offer only a bar-code-based version of the gift card service instead on non-BlackBerry platforms, although mobile app and HCE vendor Clearbridge Mobile says the BlackBerry launch received a positive response from customers.

TI’s NFC Sensor Transponder Latest Product to Target Wearables, IoT Markets

Dec 20 2014

U.S-based Texas Instruments said it expects to see prototype launches of devices using its recently launched NFC sensor transponder in the first quarter of 2015, as the U.S.-based chip maker seeks a larger stake in the promising markets for wearables, Internet of Things and industrial applications that sometimes require an NFC interface.

UK Issuers Consider Using Trusted Execution Environment with HCE, According to Vendor

NFC Times Exclusive – UK-based vendor Proxama said three issuers in the UK and one in Spain are planning to launch HCE in 2015, and one or more of them are considering using a trusted execution environment, or TEE, to add security to the implementations.

EMVCo: New NFC Booster Technology in iPhones Should Work as Planned, but Could Require New Specs

NFC Times Exclusive – Payments standards group EMVCo said it doesn’t expect problems with the NFC booster technology used by Apple in its new iPhones, although the group acknowledged that the technology is “very new and has not yet been fully studied and standardized.”

NFC SIMs in Short Supply for Chunghwa Telecom's NFC Rollout

NFC Times Exclusive – TAIPEI, Taiwan – Gemalto announced this week that it is providing NFC SIM cards for Chunghwa Telecom’s commercial launch of NFC services, but availability of the SIMs to the telco’s subscribers is extremely limited and none of the telco’s shops or service centers currently have the cards, NFC Times has learned.

Magyar Telekom Launches Hungary’s First NFC Payments Service; Hopes to Avoid Threats to SIM-Based NFC

Dec 11 2014

NFC Times Exclusive – Hungary’s largest telco, which last week launched NFC payments commercially, believes it can avoid problems and threats encountered by other telcos launching

People on the Move: Awad Returns to Broadcom’s NFC Program as Chip Maker’s NFC Business Lags Behind Chief Rivals

Dec 4 2014

NFC Times Exclusive – Mohamed Awad, who formerly headed Broadcom’s NFC business, has returned to oversee the program, among other duties, as Broadcom looks to reinvigorate a progra

NFC Telco Pioneer Turkcell Pulls Back on Support for Technology

NFC Times Exclusive – Turkey’s largest mobile operator, Turkcell, one of the first telcos globally to launch NFC service commercially, has pulled back from the technology, having seen too little take-up for NFC retail payments, NFC Times has learned.

Deals

Mozido Acquires NFC and Wallet Vendor CorFire, Plans to Continue TSM

U.S.-based Mozido has acquired majority ownership of SK C&C USA, known as CorFire, giving the Austin-based supplier of cloud-based, white-label mobile payments and commerce products NFC technology.

UK Issuers Consider Using Trusted Execution Environment with HCE, According to Vendor

NFC Times Exclusive – UK-based vendor Proxama said three issuers in the UK and one in Spain are planning to launch HCE in 2015, and one or more of them are considering using a trusted execution environment, or TEE, to add security to the implementations.

DeviceFidelity Acquired by mPOS and Reader Component Supplier Kili

Canada-based Kili Technology, which supplies hardware modules, firmware and IP for mobile point of sale, readers and other payment-acceptance devices, has acquired NFC-accessories vendor DeviceFidelity.

Amid High-Profile Win with Apple, NXP Quietly Loses NFC Business for Samsung’s Galaxy Handsets

NFC Times Exclusive: While NXP Semiconductors won the coveted contract to supply NFC chips and secure elements to Apple for its new iPhone models, it has been cut out of the recent business for Samsung Galaxy handsets, including the Note 4.

Despite NFC-Enabled iPhone and Watch, Hotels Appear to be Opting for BLE for Phone-Based Door Keys

NFC Times Exclusive: Several hotel chains are planning to start equipping certain properties with door locks supporting Bluetooth low energy by the early part of next year, or are seriously investigating the technology, which enables guests to enter their rooms with keys stored on their smartphones, Legic Identsystems, one of the technology vendors involved, told NFC Times.

China UnionPay Reportedly Strikes Deal with Samsung to Use Embedded Chips

Oct 9 2014

Samsung Electronics reportedly says it has an agreement with payment network China UnionPay that would enable embedded chips in more than 3 million of its devices in China with China UnionPay’s contactless-payments service, though no banks have yet been mentioned as issuers.

China UnionPay Strikes Deal with ZTE to Use Embedded Chips for Payments

Payment network China UnionPay and China-based handset maker ZTE have disclosed an agreement to enable contactless payment on embedded chips in two of ZTE’s latest high-end Android phones.

Softcard Hopes to Quiet Critics in Announcing Support From Major Fast-Food Chain

Just when many industry observers were counting Softcard out in the wake of Apple’s announcement of Apple Pay, the mobile carrier joint venture formerly known as Isis today announced a deal with its biggest merchant to date, the Subway sandwich fast-food chain.

Apple Announces Bold Move into Mobile Payments Using NFC Technology

Sep 9 2014

Apple, as predicted, is taking the NFC plunge, adopting the technology in its next iPhones and Apple Watch to enable a mobile-payments service, Apple Pay, and disclosing partnerships with the three largest U.S. payment networks, issuers representing more than 80% of U.S. credit card volume and major national merchants.

Gemalto Plans to Acquire SafeNet; Gives Vendor Network Security; Possible HCE Technology

France-based Gemalto has announced plans to acquire U.S.-based data security firm SafeNet in a cash and debt deal worth $890 million, its biggest acquisition since Gemalto was created in 2006 with the merger of what was then the two largest smart card companies, Gemplus and Axalto.

Profiles

Google, which makes more than 95% of its revenue from Web advertising, sees a major opportunity to use NFC to help it take advantage of its Web search dominance with physical merchants and advertis

France-based fabless chip supplier Inside Secure, though the end of 2011, was one of only two providers of NFC chips to handset makers, along with NXP Semiconductors. 

The Isis joint venture, formed by AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA, seeks to use the combined market clout of three major U.S. mobile carriers to roll out NFC phones and services.

It seems just a matter of time before Telefónica O2 UK launches NFC commercially.

Co-creator of NFC with Sony, NXP's partnership with Google announced in late 2010 has given it a dominant position in shipments for NFC chips for Android phones.

While contactless retail payment in the UK has been slow to take off, don’t blame Barclaycard or its parent Barclays PLC.

Since its creation in 2006 from the merger of the two largest smart card makers at the time, Gemalto has billed itself as “the world leader in digital security.”

Taiwan’s largest telco has been one of the major players in the country gearing up for NFC, having held at least three important trials.

The largest issuer of contactless cards in the U.S. with 30 million deployed since 2005, JPMorgan Chase hasn’t held an NFC trial in a while. Its last public trial with the technology ended in 2006.

While Bouygues Telecom runs a distant third among mobile operators to its big rivals France Telecom-Orange and Vodafone-affiliated SFR, it punches well above its weight in NFC. 

Its planned merger with France-based competitor Transdev, announced in summer 2009, would make big transit operator Veolia Transport even bigger.

A consortium of 23 organizations in eight countries, SmartTouch studies NFC and helps sponsor trials.

Discover’s Zip contactless application is accepted more than 100,000 merchant locations in the U.S. But until recently, you wouldn't have seen anyone tapping with Zip to pay.

German smart card supplier Giesecke & Devrient has been interested in contactless-mobile technology for years.

France Telecom-Orange devotes considerable resources to NFC and mobile payment at its French and UK offices and R&D centers.

The most important trade group promoting Near Field Communication, the NFC Forum sets standards for the technology and evangelizes its uses.

The U.S.-based card company Visa Inc. and its separate bank-owned affiliate, Visa Europe, share a brand and intellectual property on contactless payments and NFC.

To those who criticize Nokia for the rather bland handsets it has outfitted with NFC and put onto the market, the handset maker responds–with some justification–that it has done more than any other phone maker to advance NFC technology.

MasterCard spearheaded the move to contactless-card payment in the U.S. with its PayPass technology.

A1

Austria’s largest mobile operator is also a European pioneer in mobile commerce.