Latest News

Chinese Internet Payments Provider Alipay Taps NFC Phones to Offer Transit Ticketing

Jun 20 2014

Chinese Internet payments company Alipay is launching a service enabling riders to tap to pay for bus and metro fares with NFC-enabled smartphones.

Asia-Pacific Banks Gear Up for HCE; Likely Site of Some of the First Issuer-Led Launches

NFC Times Exclusive: Despite the interest in host-card emulation in North America and, to some extent, Europe grabbing the spotlight, there is a good chance that banks and other issuers in Asia-Pacific could generally commercialize the technology first, sources told NFC Times.

Capital One Reveals Reasons for Quitting Isis, Early Role in Promoting HCE

Capital One Financial’s vice president of digital commerce has spelled out publicly for the first time why the large U.S. credit card issuer dropped its support for the Isis Wallet and also revealed the bank’s early role with MasterCard Worldwide in developing host-card emulation for payments.

Canadian Telco Joint Venture EnStream Expands TSM Offer Via BlackBerry Deal

Canadian telco joint venture EnStream has signed a new three-year deal with BlackBerry, as it expands its TSM service into provisioning secure payment applications for Canadian banks.

AT&T Gears Up to Enable Nonpayment NFC Services, Apart from Isis

AUSTIN, Texas – U.S. mobile carrier AT&T plans to enable nonpayment NFC services, which could run alongside payment applications on its NFC SIMs, but would not be part of the Isis Wallet. 

Isis Sets Up Service Provider TSM, as It Seeks to Bring in More Issuers

AUSTIN, Texas – The Isis joint venture will offer a TSM service to banks, which Isis says would enable the issuers to avoid hiring their own trusted service managers to download and manage their applications for the Isis Wallet.

Future of Embedded Chips Uncertain, as Promise So Far Goes Unfulfilled for Samsung, Visa and MasterCard

NFC Times Exclusive: Assuming Apple doesn’t put embedded secure elements in its next iPhone as some are predicting, the future for the embedded chip technology for NFC phones is uncertain–beset by stalled projects, growing interest in host-card emulation and questionable continued support from Samsung.

NFC SIM Prices Hit Record Lows in China as Telcos Prepare to Order Millions of Cards for Rollouts

NFC Times Exclusive: Chinese mobile operators China Mobile and China Telecom have begun ordering what is expected to be tens of millions of low-cost NFC SIM cards this year as they prepare for large rollouts, while China Mobile is also planning to pay device makers to put NFC technology in their phones, sources told NFC Times.

SIMalliance Keeps an Eye on HCE as It Reports NFC SIM Shipment Growth in 2013

SIM vendor association SIMalliance offered more details about its members’ overall NFC SIM shipments in 2013, and despite the emergence of such alternatives as host-card emulation, the group contends that “significant increases in NFC (SIM) shipments look set to continue globally.”

Russia’s Largest Bank Plans to Launch HCE; Continues to Pursue Embedded Chips in Parallel

Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, said it plans to launch NFC-mobile payments with host-card emulation this fall, the first major bank to disclose plans for an HCE launch.

Hungary's Largest Bank Plans NFC Rollout Despite Recent QR-Code Payment Launch

The launch of a QR code-based mobile wallet by Hungary’s largest bank, OTP Bank, and Hungary-based mobile-payments technology supplier Cellum, along with MasterCard Worldwide, is not expected to interfere with plans by the bank to launch NFC-mobile payments later in 2014.

Taiwan Banking Group Chooses TSM Vendor to Build Third Major TSM Platform for Island Nation

NFC Times Exclusive: A mobile-payments joint venture in Taiwan led by banking groups has chosen a trusted service manager, which could act as an aggregation service for a number of large and small banks in the country wanting to provision their applications on NFC phones, NFC Times has learned.

Updated: Deutsche Telekom Launches Long-Awaited NFC-Payments Service

May 7 2014

Germany’s Deutsche Telekom today launched its much-anticipated–and also much-delayed–NFC-mobile wallet, which features its own branded prepaid mobile-payments application that will anchor a promised mobile-commerce platform.

Scandinavian Airlines Plans to Introduce HCE-Enabled Boarding; Other Airlines Interested in Technology

May 7 2014

NFC Times Exclusive: Scandinavian Airlines plans to introduce an NFC application for frequent flyers using host-card emulation next month, and if its new mobile app arrives on schedule, it would likely be the first airline to commercialize HCE.

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.

Deals

Analysis: Google Launches Google Pay Rebrand, as It Seeks to Enable Payments Across Multiple Channels and Devices

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Google began rolling out its previously-announced set of Google Pay services Tuesday in what is primarily a rebrand of Android Pay and other Google payments features. The initiative supports Google’s long-held goal of making payments seamless across its various products and access points.

Can Luxury Watchmaker TAG Heuer Sell Swiss Precision Along with NFC Payments? Its Latest Smartwatch Again Supports Android Pay

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While payments wearables, in general, are taking off more slowly than expected, a number of manufacturers are incorporating the feature in their high-end watches and that includes Switzerland-based luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer.

Hong Kong Banking Group JETCO–Former Backer of NFC–Launches QR Code Payments Service

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Hong Kong ATM and interbank group JETCO is the latest provider to launch a QR code-based payments service for in-store transactions in Asia, with payments coming out of the consumers’ bank accounts. But the group has few if any merchants live yet.

Vendor Hopes to ‘Flip’ Bitcoin Holders into Users of Cryptocurrency for Retail Purchases

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are mainly seen as assets for speculative investments these days rather than currencies for making payments, U.S.-based provisioning and mobile wallet platform company Fit Pay Thursday released a second announcement about its planned contactless device that would enable holders of Bitcoin to make purchases at brick-and-mortar stores.

NXP Continues to Promote ‘Loader Service’ Targeting Wearables Market, Seeking to Sell More Embedded Chips

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – In addition to the NFC secure elements that NXP Semiconductors is providing to wearables maker Garmin for its vívoactive 3 and forthcoming Forerunner 645 smartwatches supporting Garmin Pay, NXP is also supplying its “Loader Service,” a technology that the chip maker has been pushing for more than three years.

Can Cryptocurrency Work at the Point of Sale? Some Vendors Want to Try

NFC TIMES Exclusive – As cryptocurrencies gain momentum online, some payments vendors and even a handful of national banks are making the first moves toward bringing those currencies into the world of brick-and-mortar retail with mobile payments, but it will likely be some time before those efforts gain a significant foothold in the market.

Popular Messaging App Most-Used Mobile Payments Service in Taiwan: Survey

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – There’s more evidence that social media and messaging apps are proving to be valuable platforms for promoting mobile payments, at least in Asia.

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.

Features

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.

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.