buy metformin online

Singaporean Government Awards TSM Contract; Expects NFC Launch in mid-2012

Oct 26 2011 (All day)

Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority has announced the award of its contract for trusted service management to a consortium led by France-based Gemalto, with plans calling for a nationwide launch of NFC payment, ticketing and tag-reading services on the island nation from mid-2012.

The consortium includes mobile operators StarHub and M1, along with SingTel, as well as major banks, DBS and Citibank Singapore, and the country’s largest transit fare collection operator, EZ-Link. EZ-Link’s stored-value application also can be used for retail purchases.

The contract comes with funding by the IDA, with the government agency taking an aggressive role in attempting to create an interoperable NFC platform that Singaporean mobile operators, banks, transit fare-collection operators and others can plug into. All told, IDA and the consortium members will invest S$40 million (US$31.5 million) in the platform and up to 10 NFC mobile payment and value-added services by 2014, said the IDA today. 

If true, that is a very well-funded project, considering Singapore only has a population of 5 million and according to tender documents, the IDA is requring the winning consortium to have a relatively modest 30,000 subscribers enrolled a little more than two years after the contract is awarded. 

The IDA, the country’s regulator of telecommunications and other information services, predicted NFC would roll out progressively, with three mobile-payment applications available by mid-2012. By that time there should be more than 20,000 retail locations or point-of-sale terminals and taxis able to accept contactless payment from NFC phones along with more than 600 locations in major shopping malls and office buildings equipped with smart posters.

Update: StarHub, EZ-Link and DBS Tuesday said they planned to launch NFC services by mid-2012.

StarHub said it would offer NFC phones to customers, though didn't specify models, and would “look for more payment and service partners to collaborate on unique services.” The parties indicated in a press release they would introduce payment, along with other services, such as enabling consumers to purchase tickets and receive news, discounts and promotions from retailers “with just a simple tap.” End update.

IDA said mobile payment would roll out first, followed by transit fare collection in early 2013, said the IDA. Plans reportedly call for not only NFC phones but NFC bridge technologies, for example, an NFC-enabled iPhone attachment.

While the IDA is not expected to issue regulations requiring all Singaporean telcos, banks and other service providers to use the platform and national TSM–which it calls a “trusted third party”–cooperation will be highly recommended among Singapore’s m-commerce players. Those players also include a competing payment service provider to EZ-Link, NETS.

The government contends its hands-on approach is needed to enable service providers to offer interoperable NFC payment and other services to subscribers from any of the small island city-state’s mobile operators and to build “widespread adoption of NFC mobile services by merchants and consumers.” Regulators in other developed countries have not been as directly involved in building NFC TSM platforms. TSMs mainly are responsible for downloading and managing applications secure elements in NFC devices.

“DBS, EZ-Link and Citibank will enable a wide range of their credit (and) debit scheme cards and stored value payment products, to be issued over-the-air through Gemalto, and stored on the secure chips in their customers' NFC-enabled mobile phones,” IDA said in a statement today.

“Besides payment services, Gemalto will also be collaborating with service providers to deploy a range of innovative NFC mobile value-added services such as interactive digital signage advertising, mobile coupons and mobile ticketing. This will allow consumers to interact with these digital signage advertisements and download coupons, tickets and product information onto their NFC-enabled mobile phones.”

Award of the contract is behind schedule and had been planned for last May or June. Singapore-based Cassis International led the other consortium on the shortlist with Gemalto for the contract. That consortium included some of the same members as the Gemalto group, such as telcos SingTel and M1, along with Citibank, but also included two handset makers, Nokia and Research in Motion, as well as NETS and MasterCard Worldwide.

To be selected, Gemalto and its consortium partners had to make a number of commitments, as stated in its tender request, or “call for collaboration,” last year. Among them was being able to offer applications from at least four payment service providers within 20 months of winning the award. The payment applications must be based on widely accepted credit payment schemes, such as Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide, as well as Singapore’s e-purse standard, CEPAS.

As part of the tender request, the government also will insist that Gemalto turn over ownership to the IDA of its interface specifications and processes for connecting service providers to SIMs or other secure elements in the NFC devices. The IDA said it needs to control the interface specs to ensure that all prospective service providers can hook into the system in the future.

Gemalto and its consortium also must commit to providing transparent pricing and publish its fee schedule for managing applications on SIM cards or other secure chips in NFC phones or bridge technologies.

Besides having only 30,000 subscribers enrolled a little more than two years after getting the contract award, along with 4,000 merchant locations, tender documents said the winning consortium must be handling at least 450,000 NFC-based retail payment transactions per month after 32 months.

Gemalto said last week its software and services unit had won at least a combined 20 contracts to provide mobile operators with TSM services as well as LTE services related to rollouts of the 4G network infrastructure by telcos. The TSM contracts include the Isis joint venture in the United States and the mobile wallet program from Deutsche Telekom, as NFC Times has reported. It likely also includes the IDA contract.

HEADLINE NEWS

OTI Reduces Growth Estimate and Pushes Back Positive EBITDA Prediction

Israeli-based NFC and contactless company On Track Innovations pushed back its prediction for positive adjusted EBITDA back to the third quarter of 2015 and reduced its estimate for 2014 revenue growth to 10%, down from the 30% it had predicted previously, the company reported in its quarterly earnings call.

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.

Subway Eschews Exclusivity, Supports Multiple Mobile Wallets

NFC Times Exclusive: LAS VEGAS, Nev. – While a number of major U.S. merchants have pledged to only accept one mobile-payments service, that is not the case for giant Subway sandwich chain, which has now introduced at least three major options for its customers to pay with their smartphones.

AmEx and Discover Weigh In On HCE, Tokenization and Acceptance

Las Vegas, Nev. – No single mobile payments provider or platform will dominate the market in the long run, so card networks should adopt a flexible approach, CEOs of two major payment networks, American Express and Discover Financial Services, told attendees at this week’s Money 2020 conference.

Softcard Touts Rewards to Increase Wallet Activations; Insists it Will Support Wallet on iPhone SIMs

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Softcard CEO Michael Abbott was selling the value of rewards in the telco-owned mobile wallet today during a keynote address at the Money 2020 conference in Las Vegas.

Despite Talk of NFC and BLE, QR Codes Expected as Main Technology for MCX Launch

Although Dekkers Davidson, CEO of the big MCX mobile-commerce consortium in the U.S., said the group is working on Bluetooth low energy and NFC, the main technology MCX is expected to launch with next year will still be QR codes.

MCX Weighs in on Exclusivity Clause as Merchant Group Battles Apple Pay

The MCX Merchant group has confirmed what most insiders already knew: That it has an exclusivity clause for members to only accept mobile payments from its own payments platform.

Taiwan’s NFC Banking Joint Venture Gets Set to Launch TSM Service Amid Crowded Field of Platforms

Nov 18 2014 (All day)

NFC Times Exclusive: More than 25 Taiwanese banks have signed up to potentially launch NFC mobile-payments services using a TSM platform being launched by a joint venture of three domestic processing and interbank groups.

Small Issuers Sign Up for Apple Pay but Want to Keep Customers Using the Issuers' Own Applications

NFC Times Exclusive: Small financial institutions want their members to be able to use Apple Pay, but would prefer to keep transactions in their own branded mobile applications instead, sources at participating credit unions have told NFC Times.

NXP Reports NFC Sales Soar on Shipments to Apple

NXP Semiconductors reported a big jump in sales from its emerging ID unit in the third quarter, thanks to shipments of NFC chips and secure elements to Apple for the tech giant’s new iPhones.

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.

NFC Booster Chip in New iPhones One Key to Apple Pay Performance, Though Not Yet Standardized

NFC Times Exclusive: In what is believed to be one of the first uses for NFC booster technology in NFC phones, the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus feature an amplifier chip enabling a unique antenna design by Apple for its Apple Pay service that launched Monday.