buy metformin online buy propecia buy clomid buy synthroid seroquel

Visa and Bank Launching MicroSD Card Trial in French NFC Cities

Jun 30 2011 (All day)

Visa Europe and Groupe BPCE, one of France’s largest banks, are launching a trial of mobile payment with the iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy S and two BlackBerry Bold models, using contactless microSD cards.

The trial will take place in the first two cities that French mobile operators and the French government, among others, are using to showcase NFC technology built into mobile phones.

Visa and BPCE plan to hold their trial in Nice and Strasbourg among a combined 500 users, who will get microSD cards preloaded with a Visa payWave application. They’ll insert the cards into their phones–or into a specially designed case for the iPhone–and tap the smartphones to pay for purchases of up to €20 (US$28.29) without entering a PIN. Organizers have released a video on the trial.

The microSD cards would enable the bank to bypass French mobile operators and their NFC-enabled SIM cards, which are the required secure chips for payment applications in the Nice NFC project. Organizers are planning to expand the Nice project, which launched in May 2010, to the eastern French city of Strasbourg in the fall and then to other cities.

Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne, which make up the BPCE banking group, are also interested in full NFC and are members of the Association Européenne Payez Mobile with other French banks and mobile operators. The association sets rules and specifications for NFC-based mobile payment in France.

But neither Banque Populaire nor Caisse d’Epargne have yet introduced a payment application on full NFC phones in Nice. Banks Crédit Mutuel-CIC and BNP Paribas launched payment in Nice last fall, followed by Crédit Agricole.

Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne were among seven banks that participated in an NFC trial in Strasbourg and also in the city of Caen starting in late 2007. There are still contactless merchant locations from the trial in Strasbourg, which BPCE and Visa can use for their microSD card trial. The same is true of the approximately 1,500 merchant locations that take Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass in Nice for the NFC project.

One of the results of the more than year-old Nice NFC project is that users “prefer a more compelling device,” Deepak Jain, CEO of DeviceFidelity, which produces the microSD cards and iPhone attachments for the new trial, told NFC Times.

He contends that DeviceFidelity can deliver that in France by giving the iPhone–including the 4, 3GS and 3G models–along with the Galaxy S and BlackBerry Bold 9700 and 9780 a contactless interface. The Galaxy S and BlackBerrys require extra antennas stuck to inside back covers to boost power to the microSD cards, which come embedded with their own tiny antennas.

In Nice, there has only been a single NFC phone model available for the telco-led project, the Samsung S5230, Player One, and only about 20% of the roughly 3,000 of the phone model sold among the major French operators in Nice have been activated for NFC services.

Vincent Barnaud, director of mobile-contactless services for France Telecom-Orange Group, which is a leader of France’s rollout of NFC, said more NFC phones are coming. The telco put the Samsung Wave 578, which runs Samsung’s bada smartphone operating system, on sale this month. Orange expects to have up to 10 NFC models in its French shops by year’s end, including one or more BlackBerry and Android phones. All will support secure applications on SIM cards.

Barnaud said the microSD card trial would have little impact on NFC rollouts in France. The trial is intended to garner publicity for the bank and Visa, he remarked.

“It is a trial for 500 users and a nice way to get a lot of people to talk about both companies,” he told NFC Times. “It shows that contactless is a hot topic. (But) it will not be part of the commercial cityzi ecosystem.” The French telcos and other NFC backers have branded their NFC services “cityzi.”

Visa has held contactless microSD card trials with major banks in the United States, as well as those in Turkey and Australia and has certified several smartphones for use with the technology.

U.S.-based Bank of America has expanded its trial to about seven BlackBerry handsets and also supports MasterCard PayPass, in addition to Visa payWave, on the cards it hands out to customers in New York, San Francisco and Atlanta, along with Charlotte, N.C., and Dallas.

DeviceFidelity’s Jain considers the Bank of America project a commercial launch, although most would call it a trial since not all customers who apply for microSD are sent them. He said another major U.S. bank plans a “rollout” contactless microSD cards in the fourth quarter, though declined to elaborate. Akbank in Turkey has also expanded its microSD card project with Visa, said Jain.

Jain also declined to give the price of the microSDs, though said the cost for the contactless functionality and software on the cards would add less than $10 to the cost of a standard microSD card with the same memory. The vendor's cards come with low gigabyte sizes, however. And a version incorporating a full NFC chip, which could be used for tag reading in addition to payment has not yet been trialed.

ANZ bank in Australia, which launched a trial with Visa in March in Melbourne and Sydney among 50 employees, reportedly said in a statement it would “not be progressing with microSD as a contactless payment technology platform,” according to an article Monday in ZDNet. ANZ reportedly concluded that the microSDs didn't meet the bank's needs. The trial involved the iPhone.

Update: ANZ and Visa issued a statement Wednesday. While not mentioning the earlier reported statement by the bank that it would not pursue microSDs for mobile payment, the new statement said that nearly 90% of trial participants believed the pilot met or exceeded their expectations.

The statement said more than 90% of participants–which were made up of employees of the bank and Visa's Australia country office–liked the idea of making payments with their phones, whatever the technology. But it added that close to 80% of the participants said they would consider getting a Visa payWave-enabled MicroSD. 

But according to other reports, an ANZ spokesman said the bank is taking a “wait-and-see approach” to the technology, though it was not clear whether he was talking about microSD cards or contactless-mobile payment in general, including from full NFC phones. End update.  

DeviceFidelity’s Jain said he hadn't heard of dissatisfaction with the trial in Australia.

“We are confident that it’s not a problem with the technology; it’s not a problem with a solution,” he said. “We’re trying to find out what exactly is the reason for the conclusion.”

 

HEADLINE NEWS

Japan’s NFC Device Rollout Tops 20 Million, Though Still Few Places for Consumers to Use Them

Japan’s rollout of phones and tablets supporting standard NFC technology has topped the 20 million mark, with Japan’s three major mobile operators deploying the handsets with NFC chips along with domestic FeliCa technology. But Japanese consumers still have few places to use the hybrid devices.

Apple to Launch Payments Service on Monday in U.S., Shuns Support for NFC in Tablets

Oct 17 2014 (All day)

Apple’s new tablets, the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, unveiled today, will support the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to enable users to make purchases in apps with Apple Pay, but not in stores with NFC.

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 (All day)

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.

NFC Forum Launches ‘Tap Into NFC’ Developer Program, Though Apple’s Platform Remains Closed

As the NFC Forum launches a new program to attract more application developers to the NFC ecosystem, the organization told NFC Times that it is encouraged by Apple’s adoption but considers it likely that the NFC developer community will focus on Android for the near future.

Taiwanese Telco Launches NFC; Implementation Issues with Mifare Limits Handset Models

Oct 2 2014 (All day)

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan’s largest telco, Chunghwa Telecom, Wednesday announced the launch of its long-planned NFC commercial service, enabling MasterCard PayPass credit cards from four banks, along with one of the first mobile NFC services supporting a Mifare transit purse, EasyCard.

Taiwan’s No. 1 Telco Prepares to Announce NFC Commercial Launch

Oct 1 2014 (All day)

Taiwan’s largest mobile operator, Chunghwa Telecom, will announce the small commercial launch of NFC service on Wednesday, with participation from MasterCard Worldwide, four major banks and the island nation’s largest transit and retail e-purse, EasyCard, NFC Times has learned.

People on the Move: Visa Europe’s Director of Mobile Joins Apple

Apple has hired Visa Europe’s director of mobile, Mary Carol Harris, as the tech giant gears up for its expected launch of Apple Pay in Europe later next year.

Makers of NFC Accessories Targeting iPhone Contend Their Market is Not Lost

NFC Times Exclusive: Despite the announcement by Apple of its first NFC-enabled iPhone, released Friday, promoters of NFC-enabled attachments targeting the iPhone contend they will not lose business.

NFC Forum Adds Long-Awaited Analog Testing to Its Device Certification Program

The NFC Forum has added the final major component to its device certification with the addition of analog testing, but the impact of the development on handset makers’ willingness to submit their devices for certification remains to be seen.

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.

Spain’s Bankinter Launches HCE Commercially

Spanish bank Bankinter has launched its long-anticipated mobile-payments service based on host-card emulation, after being one of the first banks to propose an HCE-enabled service.