Latest News

Could China Lead Way in Using QR Codes for Mobile Transit Ticketing Instead of NFC? Shanghai Metro Could Provide Answer

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While the rollout hasn’t gone quite as smoothly as planned, the Shanghai Metro’s launch of a large trial of QR code-based payments could mark a turning point for use of the technology for transit fare collection.

Amazon Launches No-Register Concept Store but Stays Mum on Expansion Plans

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Amazon opened its no-register-no-checkout Amazon Go store to the public today near its headquarters in Seattle–but those expecting a general rollout of the technology or expansion to the supermarket chain, Whole Foods Market, that the e-commerce giant bought last year will have to wait much longer.

As Luster Fades on Mobile Wallets, Start-Ups Seek to Enable Digital Payments with Physical Cards

Jan 20 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While UK consumers are taking to contactless payments, they appear to have no intention of replacing their physical cards with mobile wallets, says UK-based digital payments start-up Curve.

Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, First Major Backer of Contactless-Mobile Payments, to Launch QR Code-Based Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Japan’s largest mobile operator, NTT DoCoMo, the world’s first major backer of contactless-mobile payments–using a forerunner to NFC technology–is planning to launch a separate QR code-based payments service this spring.

Dutch Banks Expand into Payments Wearables, HCE Wallets

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Dutch bank ABN Amro plans to put its Mastercard-branded debit cards onto passive wearable devices, such as rings, bracelets and an analog watch from a major watchmaker, after the devices are in the hands of consumers.

Garmin Unveils Second High-End Smartwatch, Forerunner 645, Supporting Garmin Pay

Jan 10 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Wearables maker Garmin has unveiled its second major smartwatch supporting its Garmin Pay service, the Forerunner 645, a high-end device that follows the Vívoactive 3 in enabling users to tap to pay.  

Google Adopts New Payments Brand, but No New Strategy Announced to Catch Up to Apple Pay

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Google's latest rebranding move for payments is certainly not its first, and involves no new products.

Payments Wearables in 2017: Market Makes Progress but Continues to Move Slowly

Dec 20 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While major smartwatch makers are enabling payments from their high-end devices, and there might be an announcement of another major wearables maker supporting payments at next month’s CES trade event, progress is slow for the technology to move to the range of lower-end smartwatches, fitness bands and such passive devices as rings, fobs and bracelets.

French Aerospace and Defense Group Thales Outbids Atos for Gemalto; Would Create Global Digital Security Unit

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Less than a week after Gemalto’s board unanimously rejected an acquisition offer from France-based IT and consulting group Atos, complaining that Atos’ bid at €46 (US$54.18) per share “significantly undervalued the company” and that Gemalto is “best positioned to grow successfully on a standalone basis,” the board has publicly changed course and has unanimously approved a takeover offer from France-based Thales that is only 11% higher.

Mastercard Announces Plans to Enable QR Code-Based Payments in Taiwan

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Mastercard has announced it will support QR code-based payments in Taiwan starting next year, working with the country’s largest credit card acquirer and processor and also Taiwan’s nascent domestic debit card network.

Samsung Pay Launches Octopus in Hong Kong, with Samsung's Latest Flagships Supporting FeliCa Technology

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – In the race among the major Pays wallets to add NFC transit ticketing to their mobile payments services, Samsung scored a win over Apple, with today’s launch of “Smart Octopus” with Samsung Pay.

Gemalto Rejects Proposed Atos €4.3 Billion Takeover; Contends Bid Price 'Significantly Undervalues' Company

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The board of struggling French smart card and security vendor Gemalto has rejected an all-cash €4.3 billion (US$5.08 billion) takeover bid by France-based IT services and consulting company Atos, calling Atos’ €46-per-share bid “opportunistic,” and contending that it “significantly undervalues” the company, among other objections.

In-Depth: Atos Offers €4.3 Billion to Acquire Struggling French Vendor Gemalto

Dec 14 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – French IT services group Atos hopes to bolster its cybersecurity, IoT and payments offers with its €4.3 billion (US$5.07 billion) unsolicited bid to buy struggling France-based smart card and digital security vendor Gemalto.

Mastercard Quietly Certifies First Data and PayPal to Tokenize Mastercard-Branded Cards

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Mastercard has opened up tokenization of Mastercard-branded card accounts to two other major payments industry players, First Data and PayPal, enabling them to tokenize Mastercard-branded cards for mobile and other digital payments services as an alternative to Mastercard’s own token service, MDES, NFC Times has learned.

Apple Launches P2P Payments Featuring Own Digital Payment Card; Should Banks Worry?

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – A key part of Apple’s new Apple Pay Cash peer-to-peer payments service is its digital prepaid debit card–which can be used for in-store NFC purchases and other transactions–a first for the tech giant.

Target Shuns NFC and Apple Pay as Expected with New Wallet; Service Features Private-Label Card

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Target has added its long-anticipated 2-D bar code-based wallet to its mobile app, following rival Wal-Mart Stores in launching its own payments service and shunning NFC and contactless, as expected.

Belgian Domestic Debit Network Seeks to Expand Use of Mobile Payments, Though Consumer Habits Hard to Break

Dec 1 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Belgium’s domestic debit network Bancontact is offering both QR code and NFC-based mobile payments services with 20 banks in the country, as backers seek to expand use by consumers of mobile and contactless payments, which each make up only around 1% of total Bancontact transactions.

Korean and Taiwanese Banks Test Loyalty Points Exchange Using Blockchain

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – KEB Hana Bank of South Korea and Taishin International Bank of Taiwan have demonstrated the transfer of bonus points and purchase of coupons using Blockchain technology, with KEB Hana Bank planning to launch initial service for visitors to the Winter Olympics next February in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Norwegian Banks Move to Defend Against Global Tech Giants by Uniting Payments Services

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight –  The “Pays” wallets, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, have not yet launched in Norway, but Norwegian banks are not waiting for tech giants Apple and Google or other outside behemoths, such as Facebook, to try to gain a foothold.

Shared and Limited-Use Tokens and Other Changes: Tokenization 2.0 Explained

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The second version of EMVCo’s payment tokenization technical framework adds two new token use cases aimed primarily for e-commerce and in-app payments, along with a few new assurance and authentication features, but much of the focus of the version 2.0 has been on restructuring and clarifying issues from the first version of the tokenization framework released more than three years ago, according to EMVCo in a webinar.

First Data Expected to Begin Tokenizing Mastercard-Branded Cards Next Year; Visa More Restrictive

NFC TIMES Exclusive –  Big U.S. acquirer and processor First Data plans to generate its own tokens for Mastercard-branded card accounts next year, NFC Times has learned, and a source says First Data is also in discussions with Visa to do the same, but Visa may not allow the processor to tokenize Visa-branded cards in place of the network’s own Visa Token Service.

Visa Launches Program to Promote Contactless Transit Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Visa has formed a unit to promote use of Visa-branded contactless cards and accounts on NFC phones and other devices, seeing an opportunity to expand on the success of open-loop fare collection in London and plans for the move by transit authorities in a growing number of cities, including New York, to accept contactless credit, debit and prepaid bank cards for fares.

USA Technologies Seeks to Bolster Services, Markets with Acquisition of Cantaloupe Systems

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Unattended point-of-sale vendor USA Technologies expects to close its $85 million deal to acquire competitor Cantaloupe Systems next week, telling NFC Times the deal will add to USAT’s suite of services and expand its international reach.

Orange Cash Gets New Life as Part of Orange Bank App

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – As expected, Orange will continue offering its NFC-enabled Orange Cash Visa-branded card with the launch of its Orange Bank mobile service.

First HCE-Enabled JCB Cards to Hit Market in Taiwan in First Quarter

Nov 14 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – TAIPEI, Taiwan: Japanese credit card company JCB will participate early next year in a mobile wallet from the Taiwan Mobile Payment banking joint venture, marking the first time JCB will support host card emulation in a mobile payments service.

Deals

Another Large Chinese City Supports QR Code-Based Transit Ticketing

NFC TIMES EXCLUSIVE Insight – Another major Chinese city is accepting QR code-based payments for transit fare collection, with riders of the Shenzhen Metro now able to use WeChat Pay to cover the fares.

Deutsche Bank Plans to Expand New Payments Service for Airlines to Other Industries, Though No Rollouts Yet Scheduled

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Germany’s largest bank, which announced plans Monday to pilot a new payments system for airlines that would enable travelers to buy tickets without pulling out their credit or debit cards, is also planning to expand the scheme to other industries, a bank spokesman told NFC Times.

Apple Touts Strong Growth of Apple Pay Globally, though Again Fails to Release Actual Transaction Figures

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple said the number of Apple Pay users doubled globally while transactions tripled during the last quarter, but the company did not release many details explaining reasons for the increases and again released no actual figures on Apple Pay usage.

Contactless Payments Continues to Grow for Transport for London, Helped by Fare Capping

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Transport for London this week was again trumpeting its move to open-loop fare collection with contactless credit and debit cards and applications on NFC phones–noting that contactless payments now accounts for half of all pay-as-you-go metro and rail rides in and around the UK’s capital.

Visa and Mastercard Hope New Online Payments Spec Will Accelerate Rollout of Tokens; U.S. Merchant Group Blasts Network Move as Anticompetitive

Apr 26 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Major card networks Visa and Mastercard hope a new technical framework for online transactions they are backing from their jointly owned EMVCo specifications group will help them keep more transactions on their networks, amid growing competition for mobile and other digital payments and lackluster take-up of the networks’ respective online digital wallets, Visa Checkout and Masterpass.

Second Smartwatch Supports Fitbit Pay, but Payments Service Remains Fragmented

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Struggling wearables maker Fitbit on Monday began selling its second smartwatch, the Fitbit Versa, supporting its NFC-enabled Fitbit Pay service, but not all versions of the new device support NFC in the U.S.

WeChat Pay Touts Access by Merchants to Consumer Data, Messaging Channel

Apr 10 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Both Ant Financial and Tencent Holdings have used their hundreds of millions of users, ready access to Chinese bank accounts, billions of yuan in subsidies for merchants and consumers and protected market status in China against Western competitors to build a combined mobile payments business valued in the trillions of U.S. dollars in transactions.

Regulations Take Effect in China to Limit Risk of Static QR Codes Used by Alipay, WeChat Pay and Others

Apr 4 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Daily limits on QR code- and bar code-based transactions in China have taken effect–mainly hitting Ant Financial and its rival Tencent Holdings­, providers of respective digital payments services Alipay and WeChat Pay.  

Apple Pay Finally Enables Transit Ticketing in Beijing and Shanghai, but It May be Too Late to Turn Back QR Code-Based Wallets

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – After being beaten by rival handset makers Huawei, Xiaomi and even Samsung to the launch of NFC transit ticketing in China, Apple today finally began enabling riders in two major cities, Beijing and Shanghai, to tap to pay fares using closed-loop transit ticketing cards.

Features

How Mobile Wallets, Payments Wearables, Tokenization Fared the Past Year, and Where They Stand Now

By: 
Dan Balaban

NFC TIMES Exclusive – As the digital payments ecosystem moves into 2018, it is dealing with many of the same unfulfilled promises, works in progress and unfinished business as in 2017.

U.S. Merchant Apps Square Off Against NFC ‘Pays’ Wallets: The Retailer Perspective

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive – As more U.S. merchants launch their own payments apps, some seem positioned to offer serious competition to Apple Pay and the other NFC “Pays” wallets.

Backers Look to Range of Devices for Contextual Commerce, Though Fragmentation Will Pose Challenges

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Promoters of contextual commerce are looking to a range of connected devices, including smart appliances and such home hubs as Alexa–along with a host of mobile devices–to enable consumers to pay in almost every context. But many challenges remain for what could become a “very disjointed” array of payment options, experts say.

Feature: How Do Mobile Payments Fit into an Omnichannel World?

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – As retailers and payments services providers increasingly try to connect and track consumer transactions across online and in-store channels, mobile payments must function as part of an omnichannel payments ecosystem, say industry observers.

IoT Payments Backers Say Devices Will Range from the Familiar to the Far-Fetched

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – With the buzz around the Internet of Things growing ever stronger, the payments ecosystem is determined not to be left out.

Sound-Based Payments Target Developing Economies but Face Long Road to Consumer Take-Up

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive – With two sound-based payments launches in India in September, the technology has drawn some interest, but although several banks in emerging countries have signed on with sound-based payments platforms, consumer take-up remains unclear, and it’s likely that the road to adoption will be at least as slow as that faced by NFC payments in developed markets.

Energy Drink Promotion Features Different Way to Put Payment Applications Onto Objects

By: 
Dan Balaban

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While the recent promotion by the makers of Lucozade Energy drinks in the UK, which enabled users to tap their bottles on contactless readers to redeem free rides on the London Underground, may have been just a clever marketing stunt, the way the drinks company got the prepaid EMV application onto the bottles broke the mold for how such applications usually get provisioned.

Developers and UK Smart Ticketing Organization ITSO Look to HCE as Option for NFC Transit Ticketing

By: 
Istvan Fekete

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – As OEM Pay wallet providers try to get more transit operators to put their closed-loop ticketing applets onto the NFC embedded secure chips in their devices, there is growing interest in alternatives to enable mobile transit ticketing.

Are Security Fears Really Holding Reluctant Mobile Payments Users Back?

By: 
Chandra Lye

NFC TIMES Exclusive – The low number of mobile payment users may have little to do with security, one researcher says.

NFC Transit Ticketing Finally Starts to Get on Track after Years of Delays and Broken Promises

By: 
Dan Balaban

NFC Times Exclusive – NFC mobile transit ticketing–an application that once held much promise but has shown few results over the past decadefinally appears to be pulling out of the station, getting a boost from the growing interest in open-loop fare collection, the emergence of the “Pays” mobile payments services and increasing efforts by standards makers to solve basic interoperability problems between NFC phones and transit terminals.