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.
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.