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: France’s Bouygues Telecom, a pioneer in the NFC ecosystem, has frozen its NFC program, just months before the French market plans to roll out the technology nationally, NFC Times has learned.
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.
Chris Bierbaum, who played a role in early development of the U.S. telco joint venture that would become Isis, has left Sprint as head of mobile commerce to lead mobile initiatives globally for UK-based directories and Internet services company hibü.
France Telecom-Orange and China Mobile, the largest mobile operators in their respective home markets, have signed a memo of understanding to work together to speed the commercialization of NFC SIM cards.
French mobile operators have announced they will more than double the number of NFC-enabled phones rolled out to subscribers by the end of 2012, to 2.5 million, the most of any country in Europe, they predict.
U.S.-based Broadcom did not mention NFC in its recent conference call with analysts following release of its second quarter results, in which it announced cuts to its global workforce of 20% by exiting the baseband mobile processor business.
Transport for London today announced it would launch acceptance for open-loop bank cards and other contactless payment on its heavily traveled London Underground and other modes of transit in September, while the UK’s largest mobile operator, EE, announced customers could begin to tap their NFC phones to pay fares at the same time.
NXP Semiconductors said sales in its emerging ID business–mainly made up of its NFC chips–increased by 22% in the second quarter, compared with the first quarter, and CEO Richard Clemmer insisted the chip maker’s secure element business would continue to remain a strong contributor.
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.