Latest News

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.

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.

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.