buy metformin online

Secure MicroSD Venture Led by Giesecke & Devrient Liquidates

Germany-based smart card company Giesecke & Devrient and Taiwan-based flash memory chip supplier Phison Electronics have dissolved their joint venture that had targeted the market for microSD cards to store mobile-payment applications.

The two companies formed the joint venture, Giesecke & Devrient Secure Flash Solutions, in October of 2009, together investing an estimated €3 million (US$4.5 million). G&D owned a reported 70% of the company, while Phison held the remainder. Phison in 2009 confirmed it had invested €900,000 for its 30% stake, which would indicate G&D put up €2.1 million in initial funding. 

To enable mobile payment, the venture had originally intended to produce microSDs with an embedded antenna that could give non-NFC phones a contactless interface. It later switched its development to microSDs that could connect via a single-wire protocol, or SWP, connection to NFC chips and antennas in full NFC phones.

While the joint venture was small, its liquidation casts some doubt on the market for microSDs that work in full NFC phones. But in disclosing that the companies had dissolved the joint venture, effective at the end of 2012, G&D said it might continue to supply secure flash memory products.

“The parent companies find it is currently more effective to support the relevant business directly by themselves rather than by the joint venture,” said the joint venture’s Web page.

The company also supplied secure USB flash drives, among other secure flash products, that could be used for enterprise applications and others. It had a total of 11 employees.

But the high-profile product from the venture was the microSDs that could be used for payment in full NFC phones and could offer an alternative secure element to SIM cards and embedded chips.

Giesecke & Devrient Secure Flash Solutions, or G&D SFS, supplied microSDs to Taiwan’s Cathay United Bank for a trial that launched last June. The trial tested a MasterCard PayPass credit application and a separate Mifare-based EasyCard e-purse on microSDs that were inserted in a modified version of the HTC Incredible S.

The Android phone from Taiwan-based HTC was equipped with an NFC chip and antenna and an SWP connection to the microSD card slot.

Cathay United reportedly issued 2,000 of the microSD cards for its trial. There were some complaints about poor performance of the HTC phone working with the applications on the microSDs.

The project was the first of its kind outside of China, where payment network China UnionPay and at least two banks, including China Construction Bank, launched NFC mobile payment on microSDs in the HTC phone in late 2011. Other companies, Wuhan Tianyu Information Industry of China and Taiwan-based Go-Trust, the latter working with China-based Eastcompeace, supplied the “SWP-SD” cards for the Chinese project.

A source involved in the Chinese project told NFC Times that only about 10,000 of the specially equipped HTC phones had sold as of last summer, with the time needed to gear up for the launch meaning that the phone didn't go on sale until the fourth quarter of 2011, at least eight months after the non-NFC version of the HTC phone had hit the market.

Four Chinese banks, including Construction Bank, had issued a combined 200,000 microSDs supporting the technology, but most are used for securing remote payment, not NFC payment.

In addition to the poor takeup of the SWP-SD cards, China UnionPay is now working with China’s three mobile operators, including China Mobile, to put payment applications on the telcos’ SWP-based NFC SIM cards. UnionPay, however, might continue to pursue NFC mobile payment with microSDs at the same time.

HEADLINE NEWS

Visa Announces Plans to Introduce Token Service as Part of Mobile Revamp

Jul 25 2014 (All day)

Visa Inc. announced Thursday it would launch a tokenization service in September, as part of what it calls its Visa Digital Solutions “suite of offerings.”

Taiwan Telco Group Goal of 2014 TSM Launch May be Hard to Reach; NFC SIM Footprint Also Small

Jul 24 2014 (All day)

Taiwanese mobile operators have sold a combined 4.2 million NFC-enabled phones and hope to launch their joint TSM platform by the end of the year.

Australian Credit Union Launches First HCE Service in Asia Pacific

Jul 14 2014

Australia’s largest credit union, CUA, is the first financial institution in Asia-Pacific to commercially launch mobile payments using host-card emulation, announcing the move today in Australia.

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.

Hungary Concludes Year-Long NFC Trial, Prepares for Commercial Launches

As the Hungarian Mobile Wallet Association prepares to enable its members to commercially launch NFC mobile payments, it has released the results of its 12-month NFC payments and loyalty pilot along with a survey of users.

Swiss Telcos to Share Tapit NFC Mobile Wallet Platform

Swiss telco Swisscom has launched an NFC mobile wallet app called Tapit, with the country’s two other major telcos expected to follow later in 2014.

Airlines Continue to Test NFC for Boarding; BLE Piloted for Airport Navigation

France-based telco Orange and Air France, along with airline industry and information technology services provider SITA have launched a trial of an NFC boarding pass application for the airline’s route from Toulouse to Paris, and SITA is also piloting Bluetooth low energy beacons at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Visa, MasterCard to Offer HCE Services to Banks, as They Seek to Expedite Rollout of Technology

NFC Times Exclusive: Both Visa and MasterCard plan to offer their own HCE services to banks and other issuers to help the financial institutions launch host-card emulation, as the payment networks continue to try to expedite the rollout of HCE technology for NFC mobile payments, NFC Times has learned.

BBVA’s Pioneering HCE Service: Payments Innovation Head Talks Tokens, Reasons for Shunning SIMs

NFC Times Exclusive: Host-card emulation represents an “inflection point” for driving the rollout of NFC mobile payments and could also help the SIM-based NFC ecosystem to become more efficient and less costly, the head of payments innovation for major Spanish bank BBVA told NFC Times.

Canada Sees More NFC Commercial Launches with SIMs, but Market Remains Unsettled

Jul 15 2014 (All day)

NFC Times Exclusive: With its high rate of smartphone ownership, strong contactless-payment infrastructure and well-developed NFC ecosystem, Canada is increasingly seen as a market to watch for NFC commercial deployments.

Spanish Bank BBVA Announces Commercial Launch of HCE-Based Payments

Jul 1 2014 (All day)

Spanish bank BBVA is claiming to be the first bank to commercially launch payments with host-card emulation, announcing today an upgrade of its Android mobile-wallet app incorporating Visa’s HCE specifications.

Russian Bank Launches Delayed PayPass Service on Embedded Chips in Two Samsung NFC Models

Russian Standard Bank launched its long-planned NFC-payments service on embedded chips in Samsung NFC devices, under an earlier partnership deal between Samsung Electronics and MasterCard Worldwide.