Latest News

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. 

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.

Deals

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.

Features

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.

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.