Latest News

MasterCard Touts Host-Card Emulation Projects, as Buzz Returns to HCE

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Following a lull in attention on host-card emulation with the announcement and launch of Apple Pay in the latter half of last year, the buzz appears to be back on HCE, and among the latest organizations promoting it is MasterCard Worldwide.

MasterCard, EMVCo Working on ‘Payment Identifier’ to Help Merchants Track Consumers with Tokens

NFC Times Exclusive MasterCard Worldwide and EMVCo are working on a “payment identifier” that could cover all tokens for a particular card account issued to consumers, according to the payment network.

U.S. Transit Agencies Face Tough Road to Open-Loop Fare Collection as Banks Shun Contactless EMV

NFC Times Exclusive – While big city U.S. transit agencies in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. continue to move toward launching open-loop fare collection, following Chicago, London and St. Petersburg, Russia, to the market, there will be few contactless credit or debit cards rolled out in the U.S. for their customers to tap at turnstiles or onboard buses anytime soon.

Analysis: Google Buys Home Screen Space with Softcard Acquisition, While SIM-based NFC Takes Another Hit

NFC Times Exclusive Analysis – Google purchased Softcard for one reason, really, to get its Google Wallet app preinstalled on Android phones sold by the Softcard mobile carriers.

MasterCard Europe Touts Growth of Contactless in Europe and Promotes HCE for Mobile Payments

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Contactless payments in Europe, almost exclusively from cards, increased by more than 170% in the fourth quarter of 2014, MasterCard Europe has announced, and the payment network cited NFC payments projects in Europe as a positive sign, while promoting the prospect for host-card emulation-based launches.

Samsung to Acquire LoopPay to Launch Apple Pay Rival; Expected to Continue to Support NFC

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Samsung Electronics has signed an agreement to acquire mobile-payments start-up LoopPay, setting up a battle between Apple and Samsung in the U.S. over rival mobile-payments platforms, while raising the prospect for more fragmentation in the U.S.

On Track Innovations CEO Resigns; Failed to Cut Losses or Significantly Increase Share Value

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Israel-based contactless reader and NFC company On Track Innovations Tuesday announced the resignation of CEO Ofer Tziperman after less than two years on the job, with observers chalking up the exit to insufficient progress Tziperman has made in turning around the company’s finances and its low share price since a board takeover by dissident shareholders in late 2012.

LA Metro Plans to Launch Mifare-Based Mobile Ticketing on NFC Phones; Challenges Lie Ahead

NFC Times Exclusive – The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has issued a request for proposal with plans to launch an NFC pilot this year followed later by a rollout, putting the authority’s Mifare-based fare-collection application mainly on Android NFC phones.

Visa: Other Device Makers Besides Apple to Support Tokenization for Mobile Payments

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Visa today announced that other leading device manufacturers besides Apple would begin deploying its Visa Token Service this year, to “deliver secure mobile payments through their phones, tablets and other connected devices.”

Dutch Bank Launches NFC Payments on Embedded Secure Elements

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Dutch bank Rabobank has launched an NFC-enabled mobile wallet, storing a debit application on embedded secure elements in two older Samsung Android devices, which the bank claims is the first NFC mobile payments launch in the country.

Mozido Founder: Interest in HCE Running ‘9-to-1’ Over Secure Elements

Feb 12 2015

NFC Times Exclusive –U.S.-based white-label mobile payments and commerce vendor Mozido told NFC Times it is seeing significant interest in host-card emulation among prospective customers, though did not release any details on service providers considering the technology.

NXP Reports Big Jump in NFC Sales on Shipments to Apple; Looks to China for Added Growth in NFC Business

Sales in NXP Semiconductor’s emerging ID business, which mainly includes its NFC chips, soared in the fourth quarter, growing by more than 200%, compared with the same period a year earlier, thanks mainly to the roll out of Apple Pay.

Mozido Invests $2.5 million in HCE Vendor SimplyTapp, Adding to its TSM and Wallet Technology

Feb 6 2015

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – U.S.-based Mozido, a supplier of cloud-based, white-label mobile payments and commerce products, upped its stake in NFC technology, making a $2.5 million investment in host-card emulation start-up SimplyTapp.

Broadcom Shows Strong Interest in IoT and Wearables; Still Sees NFC as an Opportunity

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Broadcom made only passing reference to NFC during a conference call Thursday to discuss the company’s fourth quarter and full-year earnings, although CEO Scott McGregor listed NFC as one of the technologies expected to help lead to growth in the company’s high-end connectivity business.

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

Deals

Analysis: Google Buys Home Screen Space with Softcard Acquisition, While SIM-based NFC Takes Another Hit

NFC Times Exclusive Analysis – Google purchased Softcard for one reason, really, to get its Google Wallet app preinstalled on Android phones sold by the Softcard mobile carriers.

Samsung to Acquire LoopPay to Launch Apple Pay Rival; Expected to Continue to Support NFC

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Samsung Electronics has signed an agreement to acquire mobile-payments start-up LoopPay, setting up a battle between Apple and Samsung in the U.S. over rival mobile-payments platforms, while raising the prospect for more fragmentation in the U.S.

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.

Mozido Founder: Interest in HCE Running ‘9-to-1’ Over Secure Elements

Feb 12 2015

NFC Times Exclusive –U.S.-based white-label mobile payments and commerce vendor Mozido told NFC Times it is seeing significant interest in host-card emulation among prospective customers, though did not release any details on service providers considering the technology.

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.

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.

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.

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.