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Apple Pay Launches in Spain with Support from Santander, Mastercard and American Express

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple has continued to expand its NFC payments service, today launching Apple Pay in Spain, with participation from one of the country’s biggest banks, Banco Santander, and two payments networks, Mastercard and American Express.

Australian Antitrust Regulators Reject Big Banks’ Request for Collective Negotiations With Apple

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – In a draft decision, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has denied a request from four major banks for permission to negotiate collectively with Apple and boycott participation in Apple Pay during the discussions, with regulators expressing concern that such a position “could reduce or distort competition in a number of markets.”

ABN AMRO Launches HCE Wallet Commercially Following Pilot; Manager: Testing Vital to Ensure NFC Phones Work with POS Terminals

NFC Times Exclusive - AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands: ABN AMRO is the third and last of the Netherlands’ big three banks to launch its own mobile wallet, launching service today for its Maestro debit cardholders, the bank confirmed to NFC Times.

Exclusive: Two More Polish Banks Prepare to Launch HCE Payments

Nov 24 2016

NFC Times Exclusive – Two more Polish banks plan to launch mobile payments using host card emulation technology, NFC Times has learned, adding to a growing list of mobile payments services in Poland, which saw the launch of its first “Pays” service last week with the introduction of Android Pay.

Android Pay Launches in Contactless Hot Spot Poland, but Cards from Only One Major Bank Available to Start

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Google has expanded its mobile payments service into a sixth market, Poland, targeting the country’s high penetration of contactless point-of-sale terminals. In-app payments will follow, according to the search giant.

Long-Struggling OTI Makes Progress Toward Achieving Profitability; Still Refuses to Give Guidance

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – After years of effort, Israel-based contactless reader and NFC vendor On Track Innovations achieved a rare quarterly operating profit from continuing operations, thanks to cost cutting and a high gross margin, helped by a onetime licensing fee. But it still showed a net loss and the cost reductions may have bottomed out.

Citigroup Announces Citi Pay HCE App as Expected; Launch in U.S. Delayed until Early Next Year

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – As NFC Times reported a month ago, U.S.-based Citigroup is the latest bank with plans to launch an HCE-enabled mobile wallet for Android phones, “Citi Pay,” which will launch in Asia-Pacific first then in the U.S., using Masterpass technology.

Intesa Sanpaolo Expands HCE Mobile Payments Services to Five Countries

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy's largest retail bank, launched its HCE-enabled mobile wallet service in a fifth market, Serbia, in October through its local subsidiary Banca Intesa Beograd and claimed a country first by deploying an HCE-based payments service branded as Wave2Pay.

Samsung Pay Launches Quietly in Canada with ‘Early-Access’ Service from One Major Bank, CIBC

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – One of Canada’s big five banks, CIBC, launched Samsung Pay this week, making its Visa-branded credit cards available as part of an “early-access” launch that Samsung itself hasn’t yet announced.

Samsung Discloses Plans for Samsung Pay Launch in Taiwan; Apple Pay Launch Expected on Island Nation Soon

Nov 9 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Samsung today disclosed plans in a local forum to launch Samsung Pay in Taiwan next year with several banks and a closed-loop payments service, iPASS, which could be used for transit fare collection. The launch is expected around the first quarter.

Samsung Seeks Global Reach for NFC Transit Ticketing But Must Overcome Tech Challenges, Lack of Standards

NFC Times Exclusive – Samsung has been considering introducing NFC transit ticketing in every market where it has launched Samsung Pay, including the U.S., an

Square Plans to Make Square Cash Available in Apple Pay Wallet to Enable Customers to Tap to Pay in Stores

NFC Times Exclusive – Payments company Square is preparing to make its Square Cash service available as a prepaid payment application for Apple Pay in the U.S., which would enable Square Cash money-transfer users to tap for purchases in stores, NFC Times has learned.

Visa Blocks Singaporean Bank UOB from Using Own TSP to Tokenize Visa Cards for Apple Pay

Nov 1 2016

NFC Times Exclusive – When United Overseas Bank in Singapore launched its mobile wallet app with host card emulation, UOB Mighty, in November of 2015, it was the first bank outside of the U.S. to use the Visa Token Service, Visa’s on-behalf-of tokenization service.

Google Chases Goal of Multichannel Mobile Payments with Both Checkout and Masterpass: How It Will Work

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – As global mobile wallet providers Google, Samsung and Microsoft race to deliver multichannel payments to stay on par with Apple, all three have chosen to add online payments to their mobile wallets by integrating with the digital platforms of one or both of the two largest U.S. payments networks, Visa and Mastercard.

Qualcomm Plans to Buy Largest NFC Chip Supplier; Tight Integration Expected to Continue with NXP’s NFC Technology

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Seeking to expand its presence in such highly anticipated growth markets as the Internet of Things and intelligent cars, Qualcomm made good on earlier reported plans to buy Netherlands-based chip maker NXP Semiconductors, today announcing an all-cash deal worth $38.5 billion for NXP’s shares and total $47 billion including debt.

Apple Pay Launch in Japan Features New Tokenization Providers

NFC Times Exclusive Insight ­– Apple Pay launched Monday in Japan as Apple’s 12th market for its mobile payments service and the first to support closed

Samsung Announces Plans to Go Multichannel, Launch in Additional Markets with Mobile Payments Service

NFC Times Exclusive Insight –  Las Vegas, USA: Samsung today announced its long-anticipated support for online and in-app payments for Samsung Pay in the U.S., while also releasing plans to launch its payments service in three more countries, though one, Russia, had already been announced.

Android Pay Continues International Expansion with Launch in Hong Kong

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Google is trying to play catch up with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay by accelerating the international expansion of its mobile payments service, Android Pay, and has launched the service in a fourth market this year, Hong Kong.

Vodafone Quietly Kills SmartPass to Clear Way for Proxy Card Service as it Prepares to Take on OEM Pays with Its Own ‘Pay’

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – UK-based Vodafone Group remains one of the major holdouts among telcos in continuing to support NFC SIM cards, as it seeks to stay competitive against the coming of the “OEM Pays” services in Europe.

Chinese Transit Ticketing in OEM Pay Wallet Shows Early Signs of Use; Hubs Required for Expansion

NFC Times Exclusive Insight –  About 60% of Chinese consumers who have activated transit cards in their Xiaomi Mi Pay wallet phones in Shenzhen and Shanghai have topped up value on the cards at least twice–an indicator of use–Charles Dachs, NXP Semiconductors’ NFC chief, told NFC Times, noting that there are more rollouts of NFC transit ticketing to come in OEM Pay wallets in China.

Like Domestic Debit Providers Elsewhere, Nets Gears Up to Support Expected Coming of 'Pays' Wallets to Nordics

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – As “Pays” mobile payments services, such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, continue to expand internationally, domestic debit networks and their payments technology providers want to be ready to enable banks to plug into the new wallets, if and when they launch.

Citigroup to Launch ‘Citi Pay’ Mobile Payments Service with Help from Mastercard

NFC Times Exclusive – U.S.-based Citigroup plans to soon launch its own NFC-based mobile payments service, Citi Pay, in the U.S. and Asia, in part using technology from Mastercard, NFC Times has learned.

Apple Pay Launch in Japan Opens Up More Opportunities for Third-Party Vendors

NFC Times Exclusive – As Apple moves closer to launching Apple Pay in Japan, the FeliCa-based service is opening up business opportunities for third-party technology suppliers, unlike most other countries where Apple Pay has launched.

Seamless Goes Ahead with HCE Expansion of SEQR Mobile Wallet for European Users

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Following the initial soft launch of its NFC payments service in its home base, Sweden-based Seamless Distribution, the parent company of the SEQR wallet, is enabling HCE for all European users as it seeks global acceptance of its proprietary mobile payments service.

Apple Pay Expands to Russia with Support from Mastercard and Country’s Biggest Bank

Exclusive NFC Times Insight – Less than a week after Samsung switched on its mobile payments service in Russia, Apple has launched Apple Pay in the country, continuing the international expansion of its NFC payments service to a 10th market.


Google Seeks to Sign Up More Merchants for Tez App in India as Competition Heats Up

Mar 21 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – SINGAPORE: Google is seeking to sign up more small merchants and encourage more retail payments with its Tez mobile payments service in India, an app now mainly used for peer-to-peer funds transfers.

Apple Pay Could Get More Single-Tap Rewards in Next Few Months but Technology is Not Proving Easy to Roll Out

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Restaurant loyalty platform vendor Punchh could enable its delayed single-tap loyalty and rewards service with Apple Pay in the second quarter of this year at as many as six quick-service and fast-casual restaurant chains, the vendor told NFC Times.

Visa Sees Range of Use Cases for QR Code-Based Payments, as It Seeks to Address Threat from New Payments Players

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Visa, which last summer announced it would introduce QR code-based payments to Taiwan by the end of this year, has recently briefed Taiwanese bankers on the planned architecture, use cases and some other details of the technology, NFC Times has learned.

Russian Telco MegaFon Makes Play in Mobile Payments Market With Virtual Bank Cards

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Russian telco MegaFon began issuing virtual Mastercard-branded bank cards yesterday, which its users can add to Apple Pay or Samsung Pay mobile wallets.

Google Gets Support for Its Underused Smart Tap Technology from POS Terminal Supplier Ingenico

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Google has not yet given up on technology it bought from the now defunct Softcard joint venture more than three years ago to try to boost use of its rebranded NFC mobile wallet, Google Pay, formerly Android Pay.

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.


How Mobile Wallets, Payments Wearables, Tokenization Fared the Past Year, and Where They Stand Now

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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.