Latest News

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. 

MasterCard Does Deal with Samsung for Embedded Chips, Seeks to Outflank Visa

NFC Times Exclusive: MasterCard Worldwide has moved forward with its deal with Samsung Electronics to enable its PayPass application on embedded chips in Samsung NFC phones, NFC Times has learned.

China Telecom to Roll Out SIM-based NFC; Merchants Bank Launches Payment on Samsung Embedded Chips

China’s NFC market continues to gather steam, with No. 3 telco, China Telecom, announcing a nationwide launch Thursday and one of China’s largest commercial financial institutions, China Merchants Bank, introducing mobile payment on embedded chips in three Samsung NFC devices.  

Hungary Sees Encouraging Results for Pilot; NFC Launches Expected in 2014

Feb 14 2014

Hungary’s three major mobile operators and its largest bank are planning to commercially launch NFC in 2014, following a mobile-wallet pilot that has demonstrated that users might be more willing to pay with their phones than with cards.

Canadian Telco, Banks Plan Separate NFC Wallet Launches; Both Pitch ‘Open’ Approach

Nov 29 2013

NFC Times Exclusive: As Canada’s NFC infrastructure continues to grow, two NFC mobile wallets, one from a mobile carrier, the other from a partnership between two financial institutions, will launch in Canada over the next few months.

Broadcom Vs. NXP: NFC Chip Leaders to Square Off in 2014

Dec 10 2013

NFC Times Exclusive: With Broadcom scoring an unexpected design win to supply NFC chips to Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 earlier this year, and the U.S.-based chip maker gaining an endorsement from Google for its NFC technology, it looked like Broadcom might dethrone rival NXP Technologies as the premier supplier for Android NFC devices.

Vodafone Finally Ready to Take Plunge into NFC and Mobile Payments in Europe

NFC Times Exclusive: Vodafone Group today announced the launch of an NFC mobile-wallet and payments service in Spain and timetables for similar launches in four other European countries–all featuring Vodafone’s own co-branded prepaid payment application, SmartPass.

Taiwanese NFC Joint Venture Finally Chooses Chairman, but Ecosystem Remains Unsettled

NFC Times Exclusive: A former general manager of Taipei’s large contactless transit ticketing and closed-loop payment scheme, EasyCard, has been named chairman of an NFC joint venture set up by Taiwan’s five mobile operators and EasyCard Corp., NFC Times has learned.

A Closer Look: Sprint Tries Open Approach, New NFC Business Model, with Pinsight Touch

NFC Times Exclusive: U.S.-based Sprint sees its NFC-based Pinsight Touch platform as the missing piece of its year-old targeted advertising platform, bringing payments and other secure applications to the service.

IATA to Move on NFC Boarding Pass Standards in 2014; Won’t Mandate Secure Elements

A set of guidelines from the NFC Forum and the International Air Transport Association may be another step toward eventual rollout of NFC-enabled boarding passes, but observers say the prospects for use of NFC technology in air travel remain up in the air.

Orange Cuts Deal with Visa to Launch Orange Cash on NFC Phones in France

France’s largest mobile operator, Orange, has concluded a deal with Visa to support its launch of Orange Cash in France, the latest mobile operator to announce plans to roll out its own branded prepaid payment service on NFC phones.

SPECIAL REPORT: Google Backs Host-Card Emulation, but Visa and MasterCard Could Hold Keys to Success

Nov 15 2013

NFC Times Special Report: In a move with potentially far-reaching implications for the NFC industry, Google has built support for host-card emulation into its new Android operating system, which could enable payments and other “secure” applications without a secure element.

Platform Providers Predict Demand for White-Label Wallets; Some Merchants See Room for Improvement

While mobile-wallet platform providers see demand for white-label wallets, some merchants say they see room for improvement in the current offerings.

Possible Fragmentation an Issue as Dutch Banks and Telcos Prepare for NFC Post ‘Sixpack’

NFC Times Exclusive: Whereas three years ago, major banks and telcos in the Netherlands looked like they would move forward together on NFC mobile payments, with plans to form a first-of-its kind joint venture, the situation today promises to be much different.

Inside Modifies Corporate Structure, as It Continues to Pull Back from NFC Controller Market

NFC Times Exclusive: Inside Secure has reorganized its business units, as it continues to refocus its strategy toward embedded security while pulling back from the NFC controller market.

NXP Sees Second Straight Quarterly Drop in NFC Revenue; Predicts ‘Reacceleration’ in 2014

NXP Semiconductors said its NFC revenue fell in the third quarter, the second straight quarterly drop, though CEO Richard Clemmer said the Netherlands-based chip maker is “as convinced with the opportunity for NFC across the board as we ever have been,” and added that NXP would compete “aggressively” for the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Gemalto CEO: It’s a ‘Race’ between Isis and MCX, Though Both to Get Head Start on M-Payments in U.S.

Oct 25 2013

NFC Times Exclusive: France-based Gemalto today reported higher revenue in the third quarter for its mobile-payments platforms as well as increased shipments of NFC SIMs and dual-interface banking cards.

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.