Google Wallet Launches as Other Payment Networks Sign On

Visa, American Express and Discover Financial Services have agreed to work with Google to enable consumers to put their payment applications into future versions of the Google Wallet, which the Web giant launched today.

The announcement by Google that the three card schemes will support its wallet is not surprising, since all had indicated they would be open to working with Google on NFC payments. MasterCard Worldwide was already part of the U.S. Google Wallet launch today, along with Citigroup.

“Mobile technology is transforming how people pay for goods and services,” said Jim McCarthy, global head of product at Visa Inc. in a separate announcement by Visa. "This agreement builds on Visa's strategy of enabling consumers to make mobile payments with whatever device they choose using the trusted accounts they already have.”

Visa added that its goal is to make its application an option in “any digital wallet,” including it’s own wallet, which Visa announced earlier this year. Visa is expected to launch its digital wallet this year, enabling both online and contactless payments from both smartphones and PCs.

With the Google Wallet app that Nexus S 4G users can download, users will be able to tap their phones to pay with a Citi-issused MasterCard PayPass payment application or a Google Prepaid Card application. The prepaid application also supports PayPass. Consumers can use either application to tap to pay wherever MasterCard PayPass is accepted in the United States, which is more than 125,000 locations.

“Our goal is to make it possible for you to add all of your payment cards to Google Wallet, so you can say good-bye to even the biggest traditional wallets,” said Osama Bedier, Google’s vice president of payments, in an official blog post.

The Google Prepaid Card can be funded with any credit card, and the company is offering consumers a free $10 in their account if they set up the prepaid application in the wallet before the end of the year.

Google is also working with mobile carrier Sprint and processor and merchant acquirer First Data on the wallet launch. First Data also is serving as trusted service manager for the project with its technology partner SK C&C. Google has also recruited a range of merchants to participate in the wallet project, including Subway sandwich shops, Walgreens retail pharmacies and Macy’s department stores, along with point-of-sale terminal and reader vendors. The merchants would support Google Offers.

But today’s announcement didn’t mention Google Offers, which delivers targeted coupons and other deals to subscribers. Offers is the centerpiece of Google’s business model for the wallet. In a separate development, reports today said Google purchased a Germany-based offers site called DailyDeal.

Google Offers is expected to be trialed in New York and San Francisco, along with Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Most stores are not ready yet, though one, American Eagle Outfitters, is “up and running in some stores,” a Google spokesman told NFC Times.

HEADLINE NEWS

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.

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.

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.