Latest News

Vendor Group Confirms Strong Growth in Secure Elements and Contactless in 2013, but 2014 SE Forecast Likely in Flux

Vendor association Eurosmart has confirmed its estimate of 250 million secure elements shipped in 2013, up from 150 million units in 2012, and reported strong growth for contactless EMV cards; but it's not clear whether the group will stick with its projection made last November of 435 million secure elements for this year.

Transport for London Prepares to Accept Contactless EMV Cards on Tube; Warms to Mobile NFC

Transport for London has launched a key user trial as it gears up to accept fares on the London Underground and its other modes of transport from contactless EMV credit and debit cards, and for the first time is beginning to sound positive tones about possibly accepting payments from NFC phones.

Specs for Wi-Fi Pairing with NFC Get Boost; Wi-Fi Alliance Sees Advantages with NFC

Pairing of home and office devices and appliances via Wi-Fi has taken a step forward with updated NFC handover specifications from two trade organizations, the NFC Forum and the Wi-Fi Alliance.

More Major French Banks Prepare for Commercial Rollouts Using NFC SIMs

Apr 16 2014

NFC Times Exclusive: Following the recent announcement of a nationwide launch by BNP Paribas, at least three other major French banks plan commercial launches of NFC mobile payments in coming months, along with the expected launch of NFC payments by the banking arm of a major French retailer.

Australia’s Westpac to Launch First Project with Visa on Samsung Embedded Chips; HCE Gears Up in Market

A second of Australia’s big four banks, Westpac, said it will finally be ready to launch its long-planned NFC contactless payments service with Visa using embedded chips in Samsung phones by the end of April, the bank told NFC Times. 

NFC SIM Volumes Projected to Show Moderate Growth in 2014, Though Impact of HCE Remains Unknown

NFC Times Exclusive: Mobile network operators will take delivery of at least two-thirds more NFC SIMs this year than in 2013, predicts operator trade association, the GSMA, though the impact of host-card emulation remains to be seen.

Tenders Due for TSM Platform Planned by Taiwanese Banking Joint Venture

Tenders are due tomorrow from vendors in response to a request for proposal for Taiwan’s second planned centralized trusted service management platform–this one from Taiwanese banking groups, which formed a mobile-payments joint venture late last month.

Gemalto CEO: HCE Not Secure for EMV Payments Unless Tokens Stored on Secure Elements, TEE

France-based vendor Gemalto Thursday confirmed its growth projections for 2014 and its longer-term forecast for 2017, despite the recent announcements of support for host-card emulation by Visa and MasterCard.

Vallée Named COO, as Gemalto Tweaks Internal Structure; TSM Pioneer Chua Departs Morpho

Mar 3 2014

NFC Times Exclusive–People on the Move:
France-based vendor Gemalto has completed internal changes to its corporate structure, creating a separate unit for platforms and services and one for smart card products and appointing executive Philippe Vallée as chief operating officer.

Visa and MasterCard: HCE Can Be as Secure as Secure Elements

While continuing to support their applications on secure elements in NFC phones, Visa and MasterCard Worldwide confirmed their firm support for host-card emulation in the past week, as they continue to fast-track new HCE specifications to the market.

NXP Wins Back NFC Controller Business for Samsung Flagship But Misses on Embedded Chip

NFC Times Exclusive: Samsung Electronics has switched back to an NFC controller chip from NXP Semiconductors for most of the planned shipments of its new flagship, the Galaxy S5, but the phones will not pack NXP’s embedded secure element, NFC Times has learned.

Four Asian Telcos Seek to Enable Cross-Border Roaming of NFC Services

Feb 27 2014

BARCELONA, Spain – It’s an oft-repeated goal by NFC backers–to enable customers to use a variety of NFC services when they roam in different countries by downloading the local applications when they arrive at the airport or at the point of service.

Inside Secure Improves Earnings; Writes Off NFC Chip Inventory

France-based Inside Secure reported smaller operating losses for 2013, though mainly on an adjusted basis and wrote off $3.6 million in NFC controller chips it had on hand as it continues to exit the market for the chips.

Major Payments Networks Prepare to Introduce Specifications for HCE

The major payments schemes have kept a low profile in their work on host-card emulation, and they have been quietly drafting specifications to standardize the technology for use with their NFC-mobile payments applications, NFC Times has learned.

Spanish Bank Plans Commercial Launch of EMV Mobile Payments Using Host-Card Emulation

Spanish bank Bankinter has announced it plans to launch its long-anticipated host-card emulation service commercially in the second or third quarter, following a security evaluation by a Germany-based lab.

NXP Reports ‘Slow Year’ for NFC in 2013 But Remains Optimistic About Design Wins, EMV

NXP Semiconductors, as expected, reported a slowdown in revenue growth in 2013 for NFC, but the chip maker expressed optimism that its NFC business would pick up again around the middle of 2014.

Canada’s Largest Bank Combines Cloud with SIM; A New Model for the NFC Ecosystem?

NFC Times Exclusive: RBC Secure Cloud Explained:
As one of the first commercial launches of cloud-based open-loop payments using NFC, observers will be watching closely how well Royal Bank of Canada’s RBC Secure Cloud service does in the market.

Taiwanese NFC Joint Venture Hires TSM; Low Price Could Impact Other Markets

NFC Times Exclusive: Taiwan’s NFC joint venture formed last year by the country’s five mobile operators and closed-loop payment scheme EasyCard has chosen a TSM provider for its planned TSM hub, NFC Times has learned.

Isis iPhone Cases Launch Following Delays; Only for AT&T Customers So Far

Isis telco AT&T is making the first NFC-enabled cases for the iPhone available for use with the Isis Mobile Wallet this week, a move expected to be followed by Verizon Wireless soon.

TSM Hubs and Aggregators–Can They Help Banks Roll Out NFC?

NFC Times Exclusive: The cost and complexity of loading and provisioning applications on secure elements in NFC phones has held back mobile-payments rollouts and added to the growing interest of such alternatives as host-card emulation, Bluetooth low energy, even QR codes, observers agree.

Facing Threats, Telcos and Other Players Seek to Cut Cost and Complexity of NFC

NFC Times Exclusive: NFC ecosystem players are moving to simplify the costly and complex process for putting payment applications on secure elements, as they face mounting frustration at the pace of rollouts–and growing threats from such alternatives as host-card emulation.

Market Spotlight: Banks Take Active Role in Coming Commercial Launches in Hong Kong

Two of Hong Kong’s largest banks, HSBC and Hang Seng, have announced plans to launch NFC mobile payments on SIM cards with Hong Kong’s major mobile operators, but using their own Android apps. Meanwhile, interest in embedded secure elements among banks remains high in the market.

French Mobile Operator Bouygues Freezes Pioneering NFC Program

NFC Times Exclusive: France’s Bouygues Telecom, a pioneer in the NFC ecosystem, has frozen its NFC program, just months before the French market plans to roll out the technology nationally, NFC Times has learned.

The Year Ahead for NFC: Telcos Finally Ready to Roll Out, But Alternatives to SIMs Multiply

Jan 9 2014

NFC Times Exclusive: As 2014 unfolds, the NFC ecosystem appears as unsettled as ever, with embedded secure chips expected to compete with NFC SIMs in several markets to store applications, and Google throwing its weight behind an alternative that could eventually enable service providers to avoid secure elements altogether.

HCE Moves Forward with Promise and Not a Little Hype

NFC Times Special Report, Part two:
Interest continues to run high in host-card emulation since Google announced it would support the technology in its new version of Android, but with few if any public pilots and no waivers or certifications yet granted by the major payment schemes, the technology has some maturing to do. 

Deals

Apple Watch Likely to Lag Behind in Tag-Reading Ecosystem

NFC TIMES Exclusive – As the NFC tag industry responds to iOS 11, Apple Watch isn’t drawing much focus, and use cases for tag-reading on the wearable remain limited.

Wells Fargo Launches NFC-Enabled ATMs, Though Rollout is One Year Behind Schedule

Oct 16 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Wells Fargo, the third largest U.S. bank by assets, made good on its pledge last March to launch NFC-enabled ATM cash withdrawals by the end of this year, although that is one year behind schedule, and Wells Fargo is far from the first major bank globally to support the technology on ATMs, even in the U.S.

Apple Pay Finally Signs Up Second Major Bank in New Zealand

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – In certain markets, Apple continues to face resistance from major banks, which, among other things, do not want to participate in an Apple-branded wallet. That’s true in Australia and in such major Western European markets as France, Spain and Italy, where only one major bank in each country is supporting Apple Pay.

Carrefour Pay Launches in China with UnionPay, but Can the Network Beat Back Rivals Alipay and Tencent?

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Carrefour and China UnionPay have launched their 2-D bar code-based Carrefour Pay wallet feature, as UnionPay continues to try to find relevance in a booming Chinese mobile payments market now dominated by Alipay and WeChat Pay.  

First Major Chinese City Accepts UnionPay Bank Cards–and Apple Pay–for Transit Fares

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – China UnionPay and the Guangzhou Metro have announced the transit company will accept UnionPay-branded contactless credit cards and bank cards loaded into the Apple Wallet, the first such Chinese city to support open-loop fare collection.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia to Support Fitbit Pay in Addition to Garmin Pay and Android Pay; Continues to Shun Apple Pay

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Commonwealth Bank of Australia will support mobile payments with Fitbit Pay and the wearables maker’s forthcoming Ionic smartwatch, NFC Times has learned. That’s in addition to support for Garmin Pay and Android Pay, which the bank announced earlier this week; but the bank appears set to continue snubbing Apple Pay.

Mastercard Survey: Use of Mobile for Purchases in Emerging Markets in Asia Pacific Far Surpasses Use in Developed Countries

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Despite large rollouts of NFC or related technologies in such developed Asia-Pacific markets as Japan, Australia and New Zealand, use of mobile phones for purchases in emerging markets in the region far outstrips those in developed markets, a Mastercard mobile shopping survey found.

Google Shuns NFC for ‘Audio QR’ in Tez Mobile App in India

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Google’s new payments app in India, Tez, uses proprietary sound-based technology to enable mobile payments–shunning both NFC and also apparently scannable QR codes, as the tech giant seeks to break into the country’s rapidly growing but increasingly crowded digital payments market.

Mastercard's Renamed ‘Engage’ Program for Digital Payments Vendors Lists Relatively Few Certified MDES Partners

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Mastercard has released its list of “partners” or certified vendors that it hopes will help the network roll out its key digital payments products, the Masterpass wallet and tokenization from the Mastercard Digital Enablement Service, or MDES. (See table below.)

Visa Ready Program May Not be Quite Ready for Tokenization Partners

Sep 15 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive – The Visa Ready program, Visa’s effort to get new digital payments services to the market sooner by giving vendors a fast-track route for their products and technologies to be certified, may not be quite ready–at least as far as Visa’s tokenization partner program is concerned

Features

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.

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.