NFC Times Exclusive: Mobile network operators will take delivery of at least two-thirds more NFC SIMs this year than in 2013, predicts operator trade association, the GSMA, though the impact of host-card emulation remains to be seen.
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.
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.
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.
NFC Times Exclusive: SIM vendors shipped a little more than 31 million NFC SIM cards to mobile operators during the first half of 2013–equaling the number of NFC SIMs during all of 2012–and shipments are projected to hit 80 million for all of 2013, according to figures and forecasts obtained by NFC Times.
NFC Times Exclusive: Anne Bouverot, director general of the mobile operator trade group, the GSMA, talks with NFC Times about issues facing telcos for NFC and progress they are making in their NFC rollouts.
The International Air Transport Association, which represents 240 airlines worldwide, plans to finish its evaluation of NFC technology this year and could propose standards to its members in October, the group has told NFC Times.
Germany’s third largest mobile operator, E-Plus, has launched NFC payments with a prepaid wallet card, joining other German telcos, which have also launched prepaid payments applications on their SIM cards.
As the Hungarian Mobile Wallet Association prepares to enable its members to commercially launch NFC mobile payments, it has released the results of its 12-month NFC payments and loyalty pilot along with a survey of users.
France-based telco Orange and Air France, along with airline industry and information technology services provider SITA have launched a trial of an NFC boarding pass application for the airline’s route from Toulouse to Paris, and SITA is also piloting Bluetooth low energy beacons at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
NFC Times Exclusive: Both Visa and MasterCard plan to offer their own HCE services to banks and other issuers to help the financial institutions launch host-card emulation, as the payment networks continue to try to expedite the rollout of HCE technology for NFC mobile payments, NFC Times has learned.
NFC Times Exclusive: Host-card emulation represents an “inflection point” for driving the rollout of NFC mobile payments and could also help the SIM-based NFC ecosystem to become more efficient and less costly, the head of payments innovation for major Spanish bank BBVA told NFC Times.
NFC Times Exclusive: With its high rate of smartphone ownership, strong contactless-payment infrastructure and well-developed NFC ecosystem, Canada is increasingly seen as a market to watch for NFC commercial deployments.
Spanish bank BBVA is claiming to be the first bank to commercially launch payments with host-card emulation, announcing today an upgrade of its Android mobile-wallet app incorporating Visa’s HCE specifications.