NFC Times Exclusive: As the Isis joint venture gears up for its planned national rollout, NFC Times looks at the view on the ground in its pilot cities of Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Utah, from the perspective of merchants and consumers.
The Isis joint venture continues to gear up for a nationwide launch of its NFC-enabled Isis Mobile Wallet this year and has been in discussions with major U.S. banks along with merchants, NFC Times has learned.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Isis Mobile Wallet users in and around Salt Lake City are tapping for transit fares with their NFC-enabled mobile phones more than 600 times a day and that number is climbing, said the Utah Transit Authority.
It's been nearly a month since the launch of the large Isis Mobile Wallet trial in Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Utah, and so far merchants are reporting limited use of Isis by consumers, interviews by NFC Times have found.
The Isis joint venture has disclosed it will miss its deadline for launching its much-anticipated two-city NFC trial in the U.S., blaming small problems that it says could prevent it from “getting the customer experience right.”
The Isis joint venture expects to have about three payment issuers when it launches NFC service in two U.S. cities next year, with JPMorgan Chase and Capital One among the likely banks, NFC Times has learned.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Agreements that were announced with Visa, Discover and, last week, Mastercard may finally help PayPal reverse years of failed attempts to enable customers to pay with its PayPal Wallet in stores.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight –Apple Wednesday confirmed that its new iPhone 7 smartphones and second-generation Apple Watch will support Sony’s proprietary FeliCa technology in Japan, as earlier reported, enabling transit and retail payments when Apple Pay launches in Japan next month. The tech giant will also expand Apple Pay into New Zealand and Russia this year, though was able to announce only one issuer so far between the two countries.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Rising from a failed TSM and wallet provider, Norway-based MeaWallet has transformed itself into a certified supplier of host card emulation technology, now part of Sweden-based Seamless Distribution.
NFC Times Excusive Insight – China’s mobile payments market continues to heat up, with Chinese smartphone makers Huawei and Xiaomi announcing lineups of major banks as well as transit agencies participating in their respective NFC-based ‘Pays’ services.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight –Apple vowed it will not agree to open up its NFC technology or yield to other negotiating points that four large Australian banks have raised as part of their request to antitrust regulators to negotiate collectively with Apple and to boycott participation in Apple Pay while the negotiations are going on.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple plans to support proprietary FeliCa technology as well as NFC in its iPhones sold in Japan like other handset makers in Japan have been doing since 2012, probably starting with the iPhone 7; but the tech giant won’t necessarily introduce Apple Pay with the device, a source told NFC Times.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Twelve months after launch, Samsung Pay is available in seven countries and eight total markets with users having made a combined 100 million or so transactions over the past year, but the tech giant is not disclosing its total number of users.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight –One of Australia's largest supermarket chain, Coles, and the Australian Retailers Association have thrown their support behind four major banks seeking permission from Australian antitrust regulators to negotiate as a bloc with Apple as they try to break what they see as the tech giant's divide-and-conquer strategy for recruiting banks for Apple Pay.
NFC Times Exclusive –Both Visa and Mastercard have set deadlines for ending support for alternate PANs that a number of banks are issuing for their mobile payments apps, as the schemes continue to push their own tokenization services to issuers, NFC Times has learned.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Contactless reader and NFC vendor On Track Innovations reported lower expenses and says it has positioned itself to earn more revenue from services in addition to its reader sales and possible NFC patent income–all in hopes of making the company profitable for the first time in its history. The question of when that will happen remains unanswered, however, and OTI doesn’t provide guidance.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight –Apple has responded to a request to regulators by four major Australian banks to jointly negotiate terms for their adoption of Apple Pay and to boycott participation during the negotiations with a strongly worded letter, branding the group’s proposed action worthy of a “cartel” that would “harm consumers, lead to less competition and less innovation and set a troubling precedent.”