Latest News

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.

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.