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.
Israel-based On Track Innovations reported new orders for its NFC and contactless readers in North America, along with the first shipments of its NFC-enabled Wave attachment, driving higher revenue, though the vendor’s quarterly losses continued.
U.S.-based Identiv reported higher revenue and narrowed losses for the second quarter, predicting a breakeven or positive result by the end of the year, as the company’s restructuring program draws to a close.
NFC Times Exclusive: Westpac New Zealand’s product chief told NFC Times he believes host-card emulation will reduce costs and increase flexibility, while ensuring the bank can use its own branded wallet.
NFC Times Exclusive: With interest in host-card emulation continuing to grow and SIM-based NFC rollouts in need of a boost, mobile operators and their global trade association, GSMA, are pushing for significant cuts in the cost and complexity of TSMs and lowering other hurdles that have discouraged service providers from provisioning their applications on SIM cards.
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.
A group of former top managers in Visa’s mobile program have formed a start-up that plans to use NFC and BLE to deliver coupons, rewards and other offers to consumers in stores, using the branded apps of retailers or other marketers.
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.