NFC Times Premium Content (Free): The Isis joint venture and member mobile operators officially launched their Isis Mobile Wallet today, with the new Android wallet app now available for subscribers of all three Isis telcos and NFC SIMs in thousands of carrier shops.
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.
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.
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.
As Google readies the launch of the next version of its wallet, expected to feature the addition of a physical payment card, other mobile-commerce players, including Google Wallet partner Sprint, are gearing up with their own offers.
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.
Google has confirmed in statements to the press that Verizon Wireless is trying to block it from offering the Google Wallet on its own Galaxy Nexus smartphone, which Verizon is expected to put on sale later this month.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Israel-based On Track Innovations reported continued negative adjusted EBITDA and didn’t announce any new major reader sales during a recent conference call to discuss the company’s first quarter earnings. Despite a recent patent case win, investors appear to be getting impatient.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight –Chinese banking giant Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has launched a mobile-payments service using host-card emulation, supporting credit cards branded by China UnionPay and Visa.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Smart card vendor association Eurosmart has confirmed its estimate that vendors shipped 350 million NFC secure elements last year, up 30% from the year before, fueled by embedded chips in Apple’s iPhones and what is probably the last significant growth spurt in NFC SIM card shipments. It predicts shipments of 550 million secure elements in 2015, up 57% from 2014, though revised downward from an earlier projection.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Qualcomm, the largest supplier of processor chips for mobile phones globally, has made a deal to integrate NFC technology from NXP Semiconductors for its reference designs for OEMs featuring its Snapdragon processors.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Gemalto CEO Olivier Piou said revenue from the vendor’s trusted service management business fell in the first quarter and would stay down for the rest of the year, while indicating Gemalto is no longer seeing many TSM tenders from telcos.
NFC Times Exclusive – Falling SIM card prices among other challenges have forced such major smart card and NFC vendors as Giesecke & Devrient and Oberthur Technologies to restructure, though strong growth in shipments of EMV cards to Asia and the United States helped them record growth in overall revenue in 2014.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – PayPal is trialing NFC mobile payments, CEO-designee Dan Schulman said during eBay’s first quarter earnings call, but the company continues to be cautious about embracing NFC.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – With the first Apple Watch units set to be delivered this week, NFC payments for wearable devices becomes a budding market, though it remains to be seen whether consumers want to tap their watches or wristbands to pay.