Latest News

Aussie Banking Group: Apple Holding Issuers ‘Hostage’ with Its Restrictive NFC Policies

Feb 13 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive – A spokesman for four major Australian banks battling Apple for access to NFC technology on its iPhones shot back at Apple's latest filing with Australian competition officials, denying that the banks are trying to avoid paying fees to Apple to participate in the payments service, the spokesman told NFC Times.

Netcetera Acquires Longtime NFC Tech Supplier Nexperts, as It Seeks to Expand Multichannel Offer to European Banks

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Switzerland-based payments software company Netcetera acquired longtime NFC technology supplier Nexperts of Austria to deliver a multich

Apple Makes Apple Pay Launch in Taiwan Official; Global Use of Mobile Payments Service Rises

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Two years after launch, Apple says Apple Pay users carried out hundreds of millions of transactions worth billions of dollars during the fourth quarter, Apple CEO Tim Cook told financial analysts Thursday, although Apple still doesn’t release actual transaction figures.

Analysis: Why Rollouts of Payments Wearables Have Gotten Off to Slow Start

NFC TIMES Exclusive – The rollout of payments wearables is hitting a snag, with commercial and technical challenges holding back plans by industry players to enable consumers to buy wristbands, analog watches, rings and other wearables and then load them with their favorite debit and credit cards. (See table, challenge sections, below.)

Case Study: Czech Bank ČSOB Describes First-Mover HCE Launch; Questions Whether Visa and Mastercard are ‘Partners or Competitors’

NFC TIMES Exclusive – ČSOB, the Czech Republic’s No. 2 bank, faced challenges in launching the country’s first HCE-based wallet last year.

Analysis: Trends to Watch This Year in Tokenization, HCE, ‘Pays’ Wallets, Wearables and More

NFC Times Exclusive – The coming year will see the major networks continuing to dominate tokenization, even though at least a few more domestic payments schemes will begin tokenizing cards.

Major Taiwanese Banks Prepare for Launch of Apple Pay

NFC Times Exclusive –  TAIPEI, Taiwan: At least six of Taiwan’s largest card issuers are lined up to participate in Apple Pay when it launches on the island nation, expected before the end of the first quarter, NFC Times has learned.

Analysis: STMicroelectronics Seeks to Stay Competitive in Payments Wearables Market with Provisioning Partnership

Jan 14 2017

NFC Times Exclusive Insight Chip maker STMicroelectronics has been gearing up to make a play for the payments wearables market, an initiative punctuated by its announcement last week that it is working with Germany-based Giesecke & Devrient and payments wearables technology start-up FitPay to streamline provisioning of card credentials on its embedded chips.

Deutsche Telekom Casts Doubt on Future of NFC SIMs, as It Quietly Closes Wallet in Germany

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Deutsche Telekom, one of the most important backers of SIM-based NFC through the years, now questions whether the technology could ever become a standard, as it quietly withdrew its little-used SIM-based NFC mobile wallet from the German market last week after more than two years.

Top 10 Misses: Wallet Take-Up, Bank Recruitment, Payments Wearables Rollouts Led List of Disappointments in Past Year

Jan 5 2017

NFC Times Exclusive – The rollout of digital payments, including services using NFC technology, are undoubtedly making progress, especially compared with just a few years ago.

More Chinese Smartphone Makers Enable NFC Transit Ticketing

Jan 23 2018

NFC Times Exclusive – More Chinese OEMs have launched support for NFC transit ticketing, following earlier launches by Xiaomi and Huawei, NFC Times has learned, with at least five more device makers enabling service in one to two Chinese cities, or planning to do so.

Moscow Commuter Line Supports Open-Loop Fare Collection; Promotes Payments by Apple Pay

NFC Times Exclusive Insight - All stations on Moscow’s new commuter rail line, the Moscow Central Circle, or MCC, and some Moscow Metro stations linked with the new line, accept open-loop payments, including with Apple Pay, the Russian transit authority confirmed to NFC Times, adding that the authority is looking forward to accepting a range of other NFC-enabled wallets, including Samsung Pay.

Samsung Takes Two-Speed Approach to Launches of Samsung Pay

NFC Times Exclusive – In line with its October promise, Samsung has launched its mobile payments service in two additional markets, Malaysia and Thailand, bringing the number of markets to 12, counting Puerto Rico. Still, in some of the markets where Samsung Pay has launched, the device maker adopted a different rollout strategy, which it calls “early access.”

Huawei Enables More Cities for Transit Ticketing, as OEM Pay Providers Begin to Expand NFC Fare Collection Services

Dec 22 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Huawei and NXP Semiconductors have announced that the Chinese smartphone maker has added three cities to its transit-ticketing service from its Huawei Pay wallet, as Chinese OEMs continue to lead in enabling NFC fare collection from their devices.

NFC Secure Element Shipments to Miss Vendor Forecasts; Trade Group Eurosmart Declines to Release Details

NFC Times Exclusive – NFC secure element shipments for 2016 will be lower than earlier forecasts by card and chip vendor trade association Eurosmart, although the group is not saying by how much.

How It Works: Android Pay Launches in Japan Without HCE, Backed by One Closed-Loop Payments Service

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Google is using an embedded secure element to enable users to tap to pay in its latest Android Pay market, Japan–the first time since launching Android Pay that the search giant is not using host card emulation to enable payments.

Taiwanese Telco Launches Wallet Supporting Both NFC and QR Codes, with HCE Coming

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Far EasTone, one of Taiwan’s three major telcos, officially launched its mobile wallet Tuesday, offering a range of services and technologies as it prepares to compete with the coming of the “Pays” wallets, including Apple Pay, which is expected to launch in Taiwan in the first quarter.

Wirecard Sees Insuring In-Store Purchases as ‘Innovative’ Feature for Boon Payments App, but Will It Help App Stand Out in the Crowd?

Dec 19 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Germany-based white-label payments software and prepaid payments services provider Wirecard hopes to make its mobile payments app boon more attractive to German users by giving them the option of insuring their in-store purchases.

Apple Pay Chief: Ensuring Consistent User Experience Prompted Apple to Lock NFC Chip, Shun QR Codes

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – In case anyone is still wondering, Apple didn’t launch Apple Pay for the transaction fees it earns from banks, even if the iPhone maker still doesn’t publicly acknowledge it charges the fees to begin with.

Sony Pay? Sony Mobile Unlikely to Join ‘OEM Pay’ Club; Looking Instead to Local Deals to Enable Mobile Payments

NFC Times Exclusive – Sony Mobile has no plans to introduce its own payments service, choosing instead to work with local mobile payments service providers market by market, NFC Times has learned.

Scotiabank Updates Mobile Payments Service to HCE and Plans American Express and Mastercard Support for New Year

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – By switching from NFC SIM-based to host card emulation mobile payments service at the end of November, one of Canada's top five banks, Scotiabank, is hoping to “build adoption” at a “higher magnitude” for its My Mobile Wallet service, a bank spokeswoman told NFC Times.

Google Adds Another Small Market with Launch of Android Pay in Ireland

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Google has expanded Android Pay to yet another small international market, with the launch in Ireland today, with participation from one of the four biggest Irish banks, along with networks Visa and Mastercard.

Square Introduces Square Cash for In-Store Purchases With Apple Pay, as Expected

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Square CEO Jack Dorsey announced Tuesday that the payments company is making its Square Cash service available for in-store payments with Apple Pay. NFC Times was first to report the planned move Nov. 1.

Android Pay Launches in New Zealand with Participation from Only One Bank

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Just a couple weeks after launching its mobile payments service in Poland, Google has expanded to another market, New Zealand–and as in Poland, Android Pay is backed there by only one major bank at launch, Bank of New Zealand.

American Express Launches Amex Pay in the UK, in Addition to Canada

NFC Times Exclusive – American Express has quietly launched its HCE-enabled mobile payments service in the UK, along with its launch in Canada, which it announced Wednesday, NFC Times has learned.

Deals

In-Depth: Swedish Hybrid Watch Brand Kronaby to Launch Payments Wearables with Innovative Provisioning System

NFC TIMES Exclusive – In one of the first implementations of its kind, Sweden-based hybrid smartwatch brand Kronaby plans to enable personalization of tokenized payment cards over the air using a Bluetooth connection to what is essentially a passive contactless chip in its watches.

Analysis: Apple Again Touts Apple Pay Growth, While Still Not Releasing Details on Transactions

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple again reported a tripling of transactions for its payments service, Apple Pay, during its fiscal quarter ending in September, while noting other achievements. But the growth is believed to be off of a relatively low base, and four years after launching the payments service, Apple is still not releasing detailed numbers about its transactions.

In-Depth: Chinese Payments Players Accelerate Rollouts of Transit Fare Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While mobile payments are rolling out slowly at metro gates and aboard buses in the West, Chinese mobile payments players are accelerating deployments of their services that enable consumers to tap–or more likely scan–to ride.

Major U.S. Networks Promote Online Commerce Spec, Seeking to Keep Digital Transactions on Their Networks, but Not All Merchants are On Board

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Major U.S.-based global networks, including Visa, Mastercard and American Express–hoping to keep transactions on their networks as more commerce goes online and digital–amplified their push for the Secure Remote Commerce specification, which is being drafted by their jointly owned payments specifications group, EMVCo.

Major UK Bus Operators Complete Contactless Rollouts, With More to Come

NFC TIMES Exclusive – At least 13,000 buses in the UK outside of London now accept open-loop contactless payments, and more rollouts are underway as part of a plan by UK bus operators to roll out contactless on all 32,000 buses operating in the UK outside of the capital, NFC Times has learned.

Transport for London Proposes Extending Licensing Deal with Cubic for Open Payments Technology

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – London transit authority Transport for London is proposing to extend an agreement with U.S.-based fare collection system vendor Cubic Transportation Systems to license the authority’s technology used in its pioneering contactless open-loop payments system.

Fitbit Pay Launches in 21st Market, Though Issuer Numbers in Most Markets Remain Small

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Fitbit Pay has entered its 21st market, with the launch this week in Thailand with two of the country’s top four banks, Kasikorn Bank and Siam Commercial Bank, along with credit card issuer Krungthai Card, or KTC, supporting the digital payments service.

Study: Apple Pay Dominates Mobile Payments Among Debit Card Users in U.S., Though Volume Remains Low

NFC Times Exclusive Insight ­– New research shows that Apple Pay continues to dominate mobile payments services for bank cards in the U.S., although transaction volume is still low.

Fitbit Unveils First Non-Smartwatch Supporting NFC Payments Service, but Progress of Device Rollout Slow

Oct 13 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight ­– U.S.-based wearables maker Fitbit in November plans to release its first non-smartwatch supporting its payments service, Fitbit Pay, with the recent unveiling of its new health and fitness tracker Charge 3–but as with its Versa smartwatch, released in April, the NFC payments feature will only be available on a “special edition” version of the tracker in the U.S. and likely in some other markets.

Denmark’s Largest Bank Pilots Own Payments Wearables, Choosing Low-Tech Option Over Apple Watch

Oct 13 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest financial institution, is pitting its planned low-tech FastPay payments wearables against Apple Watch and some other higher-end wearables using tokenization, as it launches a large pilot starting this month in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Features

U.S. Football Sees NFC-Enabled E-Tickets as way to Cut Fraud, Market to Fans

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – With the National Football League kicking off its season in a few weeks in the U.S., fans will be using NFC, QR codes and perhaps ultrasonic signals on their mobile devices, in addition to tapping contactless-enabled paper tickets, to attend football games and other events at all 31 NFL stadiums.

In-Depth: As U.S. Lags in Contactless Payments, are Issuers Ready to Roll Out Dual-Interface EMV Cards?

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Most issuers in the U.S. have so far held back from rolling out contactless or dual-interface cards, but merchant acceptance has been quietly building over the past few years, despite some large U.S. retailers balking at accepting contactless cards and NFC-enabled devices.

In-Depth: Can Contactless Cards Succeed in U.S. Where NFC Mobile Wallets Have Failed?

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Payments industry backers suggest that U.S. banks could have an incentive to begin contactless rollouts soon, but in the absence of deadlines from the major payments networks, which are rapidly approaching in other markets, there's no guarantee of rollouts in the U.S. on the horizon.

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.