Orange UK and Barclaycard have announced the availability of the popular Samsung Galaxy S III for their Quick Tap NFC payment service, as they seek to spur interest in their as yet little-used service.
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.
Despite the coming availability of more NFC phones from its partner Orange and the opening up of its prepaid mobile-payment application to funding from other issuers, UK-based Barclaycard has decided it needs more exposure for its contactless m-payment service.
BARCELONA – France Telecom-Orange has sold 500,000 NFC phones in France to date and is putting new models on sale at an increasing rate, said Thierry Millet, head of payments and contactless at Orange group.
Orange UK has announced what it calls the United Kingdom’s first mobile-contactless retail rewards scheme, enabling subscribers with NFC phones to tap smart posters to receive free food or drink items from a UK restaurant chain.
Germany-based Giesecke & Devrient was no doubt glad to close the books on 2013, a year in which it saw substantial job cuts and changes in management and–as it reported Wednesday–lower sales and profitability.
France-based Inside Secure has acquired encryption and software security company Metaforic in a cash deal worth at least $11.6 million, which Inside Secure says will help equip it to offer security services for host-card emulation-based mobile payments.
Inside Secure is selling its next generation NFC controller technology to chip maker Intel, as well as an expanded license, for $19.2 million, though will keep most of its NFC patents and embedded chip technology.
In the first full year since a takeover ousted former CEO and co-founder Oded Bashan, Israel-based NFC and contactless company On Track Innovations showed some progress in its efforts to turn around the chronically unprofitable company, in part by focusing on sales of contactless point-of-sale terminals.
A second of Australia’s big four banks, Westpac Banking Corp., said it will finally be ready to launch its long-planned NFC contactless payments service with Visa using embedded chips in Samsung phones by the end of April, the bank told NFC Times.
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.
The NFC Forum has issued a statement of support for host-card emulation at its all-member meeting this week in San Francisco, calling HCE a “promising addition to the portfolio of NFC solutions that could potentially accelerate market growth.”
NFC Times Exclusive: Tenders are due tomorrow from vendors in response to a request for proposal for Taiwan’s second planned centralized trusted service management platform–this one from Taiwanese banking groups, which formed a mobile-payments joint venture late last month.