Latest News

More U.S. Transit Authorities Plan to Accept Open-Loop Payments, but Some Cities are Opting Out

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Interest continues among a number of transit authorities globally to move toward acceptance of contactless bank cards and NFC phones for fares, but rollouts have been happening in fits and starts in such countries as the U.S., where some cities there are deciding against accepting open-loop payments.

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.

Deals

In-Depth: San Francisco’s $461 Million Transit Contract Will Support NFC Ticketing but Not Open-Loop Contactless Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – A planned US$461 million contract to upgrade and operate the Clipper fare collection system in the San Francisco Bay Area will include account-based ticketing and a mobile app that will enable customers to tap for rides with a closed-loop virtual Clipper card on NFC-enabled smartphones.

Apple Drops Requirement to Have App Open for Tag Reading

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple has relaxed its approach to NFC tag reading in its new iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and Xr models, removing the requirement to have a reader application open in order to use a tag. It calls the feature Background Tag Reading, and it offers essentially the same functionality that Android devices have had for years.  

Fossil Expands Support for NFC Payments, as It Continues Push into Smartwatch Market

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – U.S.-based Fossil Group is pushing deeper into the smartwatch market, as it seeks to diversify from the financially strapped traditional watch market. Among the apps Fossil is offering on several new smartwatch models are Google Pay and Alipay, the latter in China.

Google Expands Payments Service in India, Targeting Projected $1 Trillion Digital Payments Market

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight Google, its eye on India’s projected US$1 trillion digital payments market in five years, has rebranded its Tez payments service to Google Pay and is planning to expand its services, including to Gmail-based payments and, later, NFC.

Fitbit Unveils First Non-Smartwatch Supporting NFC Payments Service, but Progress of Device Rollout Slow

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight ­– U.S.-based wearables maker Fitbit in October plans to release its first non-smartwatch supporting its payments service, Fitbit Pay, with the recent unveiling of its new health and fitness tracker Charge 3–but as with its Versa smartwatch, released in April, the NFC payments feature will only be available on a “special edition” version of the tracker in the U.S. and likely in some other markets.

Dominant NFC Chip Supplier Seeks to Move Up Value Chain by Providing More Services

NFC TIMES Exclusive – NXP Semiconductors, the dominant supplier of NFC chips and secure elements for smartphones and wearables, is seeking to push further up the value chain, offering such services as a white-label wallet platform and provisioning of bank and transit payments applications.

Analysis: Three Years In, Samsung Pay Transaction Figures Are Still Nothing to Boast About

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – ­Three years after its launch in South Korea, consumer take-up of Samsung Pay remains lackluster, despite the company’s efforts to hype up its newly released figures.

Traditional Watchmaker Fossil Adds NFC Payments, Heart Monitor to Smartwatch Line, as It Seeks to Reverse Earnings Slump

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Struggling U.S.-based watchmaker Fossil has introduced NFC for the first time, in its Q line of smartwatches, hoping the support for Google Pay and other smartwatch applications will help the mainly traditional watchmaker to stay competitive as more consumers turn away from traditional watches.

Vancouver Transit Authority Plans to Run Open-Loop and Closed-Loop Fare Collection Side by Side

Aug 13 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Vancouver-area transit authority TransLink is seeing modest consumer take-up for its new open-loop contactless fare payments service and around 6% of the contactless EMV credit transactions are from NFC mobile wallets so far, NFC Times has learned.

More Cities Plan to Launch Transit Ticketing in Google Pay Wallet

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Some major cities plan to enable their transit fare payments in the Google Pay wallet, using NXP’s Mifare 2GO provisioning service, NXP Semiconductors confirmed to NFC Times, adding that the implementations could put the fare-payments applications on secure elements.

Features

U.S. Football Sees NFC-Enabled E-Tickets as way to Cut Fraud, Market to Fans

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – With the National Football League kicking off its season in a few weeks in the U.S., fans will be using NFC, QR codes and perhaps ultrasonic signals on their mobile devices, in addition to tapping contactless-enabled paper tickets, to attend football games and other events at all 31 NFL stadiums.

In-Depth: As U.S. Lags in Contactless Payments, are Issuers Ready to Roll Out Dual-Interface EMV Cards?

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Most issuers in the U.S. have so far held back from rolling out contactless or dual-interface cards, but merchant acceptance has been quietly building over the past few years, despite some large U.S. retailers balking at accepting contactless cards and NFC-enabled devices.

In-Depth: Can Contactless Cards Succeed in U.S. Where NFC Mobile Wallets Have Failed?

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Payments industry backers suggest that U.S. banks could have an incentive to begin contactless rollouts soon, but in the absence of deadlines from the major payments networks, which are rapidly approaching in other markets, there's no guarantee of rollouts in the U.S. on the horizon.

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.