Latest News

Apple Refuses to Open NFC Technology; Contends Australian Banks Want to Boost Own Wallets

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple vowed it will not agree to open up its NFC technology or yield to other negotiating points that four large Australian banks have raised as part of their request to antitrust regulators to negotiate collectively with Apple and to boycott participation in Apple Pay while the negotiations are going on.

Source: Apple Plans to Support FeliCa and NFC in Japan, Like Other OEMs, but Not Necessarily Apple Pay Yet

Aug 26 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple plans to support proprietary FeliCa technology as well as NFC in its iPhones sold in Japan like other handset makers in Japan have been doing since 2012, probably starting with the iPhone 7; but the tech giant won’t necessarily introduce Apple Pay with the device, a source told NFC Times.

Analysis: Samsung Marks One-Year Anniversary of Payments Service by Touting 100 Million Transactions but Still has Much to Prove

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Twelve months after launch, Samsung Pay is available in seven countries and eight total markets with users having made a combined 100 million or so transactions over the past year, but the tech giant is not disclosing its total number of users.

Australian Retail Giant Coles, Merchant Group Support Banks' Fight Against Apple

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – One of Australia's largest supermarket chain, Coles, and the Australian Retailers Association have thrown their support behind four major banks seeking permission from Australian antitrust regulators to negotiate as a bloc with Apple as they try to break what they see as the tech giant's divide-and-conquer strategy for recruiting banks for Apple Pay.

Visa, Mastercard Set Deadlines for Ending Support for Alternate PANs

NFC Times Exclusive – Both Visa and Mastercard have set deadlines for ending support for alternate PANs that a number of banks are issuing for their mobile payments apps, as the schemes continue to push their own tokenization services to issuers, NFC Times has learned.

Xiaomi's Mi Pay Joins Crowded ‘OEM Pay’ Market in China, as Device Maker Seeks to Slow Slide in Sales

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Adding mobile payments capabilities to flagship smartphones appears to be a must-have feature as OEMs fight for market share in China’s hotly contested phone market.

OTI Continues to Cut Costs and Position Itself for Growth, but Won’t Project When It Will Finally Turn Profit

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Contactless reader and NFC vendor On Track Innovations reported lower expenses and says it has positioned itself to earn more revenue from services in addition to its reader sales and possible NFC patent income–all in hopes of making the company profitable for the first time in its history. The question of when that will happen remains unanswered, however, and OTI doesn’t provide guidance.

Apple Strikes Back at Australian Banks Seeking to Bargain Collectively, Branding Them a ‘Cartel’

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple has responded to a request to regulators by four major Australian banks to jointly negotiate terms for their adoption of Apple Pay and to boycott participation during the negotiations with a strongly worded letter, branding the group’s proposed action worthy of a “cartel” that would “harm consumers, lead to less competition and less innovation and set a troubling precedent.”

Visa Policy on Alternate PANs Leaves Cardholders Out in the Cold in Taiwan

NFC Times Exclusive – Fourteen banks in Taiwan launched mobile payments using host card emulation late last week or plan to do so in coming weeks, but none of the cards that the banks’ customers can load into their new Android wallet apps will sport the Visa logo–one of the two main bank card brands in Taiwan. 

Reports: ZTE Pay to Join Crowded Mobile Payments Market in China

Sep 9 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Credible reports say that Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE plans to join the “OEM Pay” club, and that the company has signed an agreement with payments network China UnionPay to deploy an NFC-enabled mobile payments service in China.

STMicroelectronics Sees Booster Technology as Way to Become Competitive in NFC Wearables, Smartphone Markets

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Chip maker STMicroelectronics is hoping its $77.8 million-plus acquisition of the NFC assets of Austria-based ams AG will help it accelerate its move into the Internet of Things market, especially for wearables.

Taiwan Banks to Launch Mobile Payments with HCE, but Only with Mastercard-Branded Cards, Using Local Tokenization

Aug 4 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight –  More than a dozen Taiwanese banks and their mobile payments joint venture along with Mastercard plan to announce Thursday the launch of mobile payments using host card emulation, with more banks to follow.

NXP Reports Growth in NFC Revenue for Second Quarter Thanks to OEM Pay, Transit Ticketing in China

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – NXP Semiconductors reported growth in its Secure Connected Devices unit, which includes its NFC chips and secure elements, as the Netherlands-based chip maker is benefitting from the rollout of mobile payments services by smartphone OEMs and renewed interest in NFC transit ticketing in China.

Analysis: Apple Pay U.S. Transactions Growing but Base ‘Very Small’; and Rivals Not Apparently Catching Up

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple’s boast this week that its mobile payments service accounts for three out of four contactless payments in the U.S. says little about the number of contactless transactions it is recording stateside, but does indicate that Apple has maintained its lead over rival NFC-enabled wallets.

Swiss Competition Officials Decline to Investigate Apple Pay Antitrust Complaint for Now

NFC Times Exclusive – A few days ahead of the official launch of Apple Pay in Switzerland earlier this month, Swiss consumer protection group Konsumentenschutz SKS filed a complaint with the Swiss competition officials, contending that Apple’s policy of locking down the embedded chips in its NFC devices is “monopolistic” and is a violation of the country’s antitrust laws. The regulator, however, has declined to launch a formal investigation, deciding to continue to observe the market for now, NFC Times has learned.

Australian Banks Form Bloc to Counter Apple’s ‘Divide-and-Conquer Strategy

Aug 10 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – In an unprecedented move, four major Australian banks, including three of the country’s big four financial institutions, have asked the

Mastercard’s Planned Acquisition of VocaLink Could Speed Up Commercial Launch of Zapp’s Mobile Payments Service

NFC Times Exclusive –  Mastercard’s planned acquisition of UK payments company VocaLink may offer the final boost needed for VocaLink’s Zapp unit to launch its long overdue mobile payments service, the Pay by Bank app.

HCE Mobile Wallet is a Must-Have, Says Polish Bank, But Usage Still Low

NFC Times Exclusive – The high penetration of contactless point-of-sale terminals and high use of contactless bank cards in Poland has spurred the launch of HCE mobile wallets by some Polish banks, but use does not appear to be taking off yet–at least if one bank’s project is any guide.

Apple Pay Launches In Hong Kong, Where Other NFC Services Have Failed to Take Off

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple followed its launch of Apple Pay in France Tuesday with a launch in Hong Kong today, its ninth market globally and fourth in the Asia-Pacific region.

Apple Pay Launches in France with Few Issuers and Tokenization from Visa and Mastercard

Jul 20 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple Pay, as expected, has launched in France, its eighth market globally and third in Europe after the UK and Switzerland; but it launches with only one major bank in France, Groupe BPCE.

Analysis: Two NFC Wallets from Telco Joint Ventures to Close as SIM-Based NFC Takes Another Big Hit

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Telco joint ventures on opposite sides of the globe announced within hours of each other plans to pull the plug on their respective NFC wallets, marking another big hit for the future of SIM-based NFC.

Android Pay Launches in Australia with ANZ but Not Yet with Westpac or Other Big Four Banks

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Google has launched Android Pay in its fourth country, Australia, with one of the country’s big four banks, ANZ, but the launch was beset by delays that have kept another of the big four, Westpac, on the sidelines for now.

Analysis: Apple Sees Familiar Pattern with Apple Pay Launch in Switzerland

NFC Times Exclusive – Apple’s expansion into Switzerland late last week with its Apple Pay service followed a familiar pattern, as in many of the other new markets the tech giant has expanded its payments service in: support first comes from relatively small issuers while major banks hold out.

As Apple Pay Launch Looms, French Telcos Continue to Push SIM-Based NFC with TSM Hub

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – With the launch of Apple Pay imminent in France, telcos there are continuing to push SIM-based NFC technology, hiring a trusted service manager for their new NFC SIM “hub”–although No. 1 telco Orange will also support Apple Pay.

Taiwanese Telco Joint Venture Steers Course Away from TSM; JV President Blames Vendor Safran

Jul 11 2016

NFC Times Exclusive – Alliance Digital Technology Co., the joint venture of five Taiwanese mobile operators and transit fare-collection operator EasyCard Corp., is steering away from the TSM business, which was the reason it formed three years ago, NFC Times has learned. It will add a focus on providing mobile ID and authentication, the JV told NFC Times.

Deals

Wal-Mart Starts to Expand ‘Scan & Go’ App; Experience Does Not Seek to Mimic Amazon Go Concept

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Wal-Mart Stores has introduced a “Scan & Go” mobile-shopping and payments app for a limited number of its regular stores in five U.S. states, and said it plans to roll out the service more widely. It follows the launch last year of a very similar app for its warehouse store chain, Sam’s Club, as NFC Times has reported.

Alipay to Expand Acceptance of Mobile Wallet in Russia

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Alipay is expanding acceptance in another overseas market, Russia, seeking to capture business from Chinese tourists who travel to the country.

Parties Could Settle Lawsuits Stemming from Dispute over Apple Value-Added Services Software

NFC TIMES Exclusive –  Software that enables consumers to tap to pay and earn or redeem rewards and other value-added services with Apple Pay is at the center of a legal dispute between Israel-based NFC and contactless reader vendor On Track Innovations and USA Technologies, a provider of payment technology for vending machines and other self-service retail locations.

Mastercard Launches Campaign to Push New Zealand Retailers to Accept Contactless Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Mastercard has launched an initiative to encourage retailers in New Zealand to adopt contactless payments, noting that nearly three-quarters of New Zealanders use contactless.

Major Networks Seek to Capture–and Protect–Transactions by Introducing Global QR Code Specifications

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Major payments networks, including Visa, Mastercard and China UnionPay, have released global specifications for QR code-based payments through their EMVCo joint venture because they see an opportunity to capture more transactions–and also a risk of losing transactions if they don’t support the technology globally.

Apple Discloses Plans for Four More Apple Pay Markets; Confirms Most Transactions Outside of U.S.

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple Tuesday disclosed plans to launch its mobile payments service in four more small markets, including three countries in the Nordics, with the tech giant seeing higher usage of Apple Pay outside of the U.S., where NFC-enabled POS terminals are still not widely available.

Banks and PayPal Announce More Deals for In-Store Transactions, But It’s Unclear When NFC-Enabled PayPal Wallet Will Arrive

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Although Bank of America announced that its customers would “soon” be able to use the PayPal Wallet to pay for purchases in stores using NFC, a bank spokeswoman has told NFC Times that the NFC-enabled wallet might not even be available next year.

Experts: Don’t Expect the Amazon Go or Uber Payments Concept to Hit the Retail Chains Anytime Soon

NFC TIMES Exclusive – With the widespread use of Uber and launch of the Amazon Go experiment, some payments industry observers are predicting it might not be too long before invisible payments comes to brick-and-mortar stores.

Swatch Pay One of the First Low-Tech Payments Wearables That Can be Provisioned After the Sale: How It Works

Jul 21 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While such smartwatches as the Apple Watch are routinely provisioned with payments cards after they are in the hands of consumers, that hasn’t been the case for low-tech analog watches. Swatch Pay could change that.

Analysis: Apple Tries to Jump-Start Apple Pay in China with Generous Week-Long Discounts and Offers

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – ­Apple, which is losing its battle badly for market share in China’s huge mobile payments market, has launched one week of generous promotions in hopes it can begin to turn the tide.

Features

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.

Provisioning Companies for Payments Wearables Say Devices Headed to Market; Tokenization Key to Achieving Scale

By: 
Dan Balaban

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – As payments companies pin their hopes on wearables becoming the next wave of portable payments devices, not surprisingly there is more hype than substance when it comes to commercial launches.

Getting Payment onto Wearables–a Start-Up Sees a Niche for TSM Technology

By: 
Dan Balaban

NFC Times Exclusive – As mainstream trusted service managers struggle to cope with a world in which their services are in much less demand, a tiny, self-funded start-up is seeking to carve out a niche as TSM for millions of fitness wristbands, festival bracelets and other lower-end wearables that might one day be enabled for payment.

Open Mobile Ticketing Alliance to Use Tokenization; Faces Long Road Ahead

By: 
Dan Balaban

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Spokespersons for Nokia’s HERE digital mapping business declined to comment on how the acquisition of HERE by German carmakers BMW, Audi and Mercedes, announced yesterday, would affect its leading role in the NFC-based Open Mobile Ticketing Alliance.

Longer-Range NFC Tags Could Bring in More Applications but Also More Privacy and Security Concerns

By: 
Kiona Smith-Strickland

NFC Times Exclusive – As the NFC Forum develops its tag Type 5 specification based on the ISO/IEC 15693 protocol, industry sources say that NFC tags using the longer-range protocol could see demand in medical, industrial, and supply chain applications, and most handsets and readers on the market can currently read the tags, although there are still concerns about interoperability and security.

Tokenization: Panel Looks at Costs and Benefits of Transformative Technology

By: 
Kiona Smith-Strickland

NFC Times Exclusive With tokenization scaling up, some players in the payments ecosystem will see financial benefit, while others will pay the cost of implementing the technology.

Survey: NFC Trumps QR Codes and Beacons for Connecting to Nonpayments Applications in Stores

By: 
Kiona Smith-Strickland

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Between two-thirds and three-quarters of U.S. consumers say they are interested in using NFC for nonpayment retail applications, according to a study funded by the NFC Forum by research firm Strategy Analytics.