Latest News

Analysis: Apple Pay U.S. Transactions Growing but Base ‘Very Small’; and Rivals Not Apparently Catching Up

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple’s boast this week that its mobile payments service accounts for three out of four contactless payments in the U.S. says little about the number of contactless transactions it is recording stateside, but does indicate that Apple has maintained its lead over rival NFC-enabled wallets.

Swiss Competition Officials Decline to Investigate Apple Pay Antitrust Complaint for Now

NFC Times Exclusive – A few days ahead of the official launch of Apple Pay in Switzerland earlier this month, Swiss consumer protection group Konsumentenschutz SKS filed a complaint with the Swiss competition officials, contending that Apple’s policy of locking down the embedded chips in its NFC devices is “monopolistic” and is a violation of the country’s antitrust laws. The regulator, however, has declined to launch a formal investigation, deciding to continue to observe the market for now, NFC Times has learned.

Australian Banks Form Bloc to Counter Apple’s ‘Divide-and-Conquer Strategy

Aug 10 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – In an unprecedented move, four major Australian banks, including three of the country’s big four financial institutions, have asked the

Mastercard’s Planned Acquisition of VocaLink Could Speed Up Commercial Launch of Zapp’s Mobile Payments Service

NFC Times Exclusive –  Mastercard’s planned acquisition of UK payments company VocaLink may offer the final boost needed for VocaLink’s Zapp unit to launch its long overdue mobile payments service, the Pay by Bank app.

HCE Mobile Wallet is a Must-Have, Says Polish Bank, But Usage Still Low

NFC Times Exclusive – The high penetration of contactless point-of-sale terminals and high use of contactless bank cards in Poland has spurred the launch of HCE mobile wallets by some Polish banks, but use does not appear to be taking off yet–at least if one bank’s project is any guide.

Apple Pay Launches In Hong Kong, Where Other NFC Services Have Failed to Take Off

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple followed its launch of Apple Pay in France Tuesday with a launch in Hong Kong today, its ninth market globally and fourth in the Asia-Pacific region.

Apple Pay Launches in France with Few Issuers and Tokenization from Visa and Mastercard

Jul 20 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple Pay, as expected, has launched in France, its eighth market globally and third in Europe after the UK and Switzerland; but it launches with only one major bank in France, Groupe BPCE.

Analysis: Two NFC Wallets from Telco Joint Ventures to Close as SIM-Based NFC Takes Another Big Hit

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Telco joint ventures on opposite sides of the globe announced within hours of each other plans to pull the plug on their respective NFC wallets, marking another big hit for the future of SIM-based NFC.

Android Pay Launches in Australia with ANZ but Not Yet with Westpac or Other Big Four Banks

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Google has launched Android Pay in its fourth country, Australia, with one of the country’s big four banks, ANZ, but the launch was beset by delays that have kept another of the big four, Westpac, on the sidelines for now.

Analysis: Apple Sees Familiar Pattern with Apple Pay Launch in Switzerland

NFC Times Exclusive – Apple’s expansion into Switzerland late last week with its Apple Pay service followed a familiar pattern, as in many of the other new markets the tech giant has expanded its payments service in: support first comes from relatively small issuers while major banks hold out.

As Apple Pay Launch Looms, French Telcos Continue to Push SIM-Based NFC with TSM Hub

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – With the launch of Apple Pay imminent in France, telcos there are continuing to push SIM-based NFC technology, hiring a trusted service manager for their new NFC SIM “hub”–although No. 1 telco Orange will also support Apple Pay.

Taiwanese Telco Joint Venture Steers Course Away from TSM; JV President Blames Vendor Safran

Jul 11 2016

NFC Times Exclusive – Alliance Digital Technology Co., the joint venture of five Taiwanese mobile operators and transit fare-collection operator EasyCard Corp., is steering away from the TSM business, which was the reason it formed three years ago, NFC Times has learned. It will add a focus on providing mobile ID and authentication, the JV told NFC Times.

French Domestic Network to Provide Tokenization for ‘Pays’ Service; Seeks to Take on Visa and MasterCard

Jul 19 2016

NFC Times Exclusive – French banks and their bank-owned domestic payments network STET plan to launch mobile payments in the first quarter of next year with a “large smartphone vendor” using the domestic payment network’s own token service provider, STET told NFC Times.

Samsung Deal with Alipay in China Angered UnionPay; Device Maker Gears Up to Enable Transit Ticketing

NFC Times Exclusive – SHANGHAI, China: While Apple has signed up more banks and is believed to have more cards registered in China for its Apple Pay service–around 10 million, according to a source–Samsung is seeking to outflank its rival with more acceptance points and more applications for Samsung Pay, NFC Times has learned.

Analysis: Microsoft Considers NFC Wallet App a Must-Have for Flagging Smartphone Business

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Microsoft, which has written off more than $8 billion from its failed Nokia acquisition and which is expected to fully pull the plug on its consumer smartphone hardware business, nonetheless believes a viable wallet app is a must-have to keep its Windows 10 operating system for phones viable–although its announcement this week of Microsoft Wallet is surrounded by unknowns, including exactly when the service will generally launch.

Reality Check: MasterCard Misses Big on Goal to Bring International NFC Acceptance to Japan

NFC Times Exclusive – Three years ago, in June of 2013, MasterCard announced it would “deploy a target” of 410,000 MasterCard PayPass-enabled point-of-sale terminals, to be rolled out “throughout Japan over the next three years.”

Samsung Pay Launches in Australia but without Support Yet from Big Four Banks

NFC Times Exclusive Insight - Samsung launched Samsung Pay in its fifth country, Australia, on Wednesday, but like Apple, Samsung has had to make do without the country's largest card issuers to begin with.

Apple to Launch Payments on Web; Pursues Divide-and-Conquer Strategy for Signing Up Banks

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple, as expected, will bring its payments service to e-commerce purchases and to three new marketsFrance, Switzerland and Hong Kongthe tech giant announced during its Worldwide Developers Conference Monday.

Samsung Pay Launches in Spain and Australia Won't Support MST for Bank Payment, but Singapore Will

Jun 15 2016

UPDATED: NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Following the launch of Samsung Pay in South Korea, the U.S., and China, Samsung’s launches of its mobile payments service in two new markets, Spain and Australia, both contactless and EMV payments hot spots, will not support the device maker's proprietary Magnetic Secure Transmission technology, which is designed to make nearly all mag-stripe POS terminals potential acceptance points, NFC Times has learned. But in Singapore, Samsung Pay is expected to support MST technology.

Seamless Turns to HCE and Proxy-Card Architecture to Boost Its Acceptance Network Worldwide

NFC Times Exclusive – Sweden-based Seamless Distribution told NFC Times it will use a proxy-card architecture, along with host card emulation, to enable NFC payments from its SEQR mobile wallet, a move the company hopes will help it greatly expand the acceptance network for its wallet.

Wells Fargo Seeks to Streamline Enrollment and Set Up of Mobile Payments with Planned HCE App

NFC Times Exclusive Insight –  Wells Fargo’s announcement this week that it plans to launch mobile payments from its own app this summer using host card emulation technology would make it the second major U.S. issuer to offer HCE-enabled service from its own Android app, following Capital One, though Wells Fargo plans to make the payments service part of its mobile-banking app.

Samsung Seeks to Fulfill Promise of Widespread Acceptance of Samsung Pay; Terminal Upgrades Will be Needed

NFC Times Exclusive – Certain point-of-sale terminals from a variety of device manufacturers aren’t yet compatible with Samsung’s proprietary Magnetic Secure Transmission technology, with Samsung Electronics’ promise of universal acceptance of Samsung Pay at card-accepting merchant locations still apparently a far-off target.

With Alipay Deal, Samsung Seeks to Outflank Apple and Other Providers of NFC-Only Wallets in China

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – In an effort to deliver on the promise of a "true mobile wallet" and, of course, boost its flagging smartphone market share in China, Samsung has struck a deal with Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial Services to enable the Alipay QR code-based payments service in China through Samsung Pay.

Barclays: No Plans to Support Android Pay or Samsung Pay; Sees Own HCE Apps as Only Android Payments Option Needed

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Barclays has no current plans to support Google’s Android Pay service or Samsung Pay because by adding the Contactless Mobile functionality to the Barclays Mobile Banking app, the company “removed the need to do something else,” a Barclays spokeswoman confirmed to NFC Times.

OTI Takes Steps to Reach Profitability, But Remains Mum on Guidance

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – On Track Innovations CEO Shlomi Cohen sought to reassure investors that the company he took over nine months ago is more competitive and is moving toward profitability, though he declines to predict when it will turn its first yearly profit since its founding in 1990.

Deals

Samsung Pay Launches Octopus in Hong Kong, with Samsung's Latest Flagships Supporting FeliCa Technology

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – In the race among the major Pays wallets to add NFC transit ticketing to their mobile payments services, Samsung scored a win over Apple, with today’s launch of “Smart Octopus” with Samsung Pay.

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

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.

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.