Times Call For A New NFC Publication

After consumer electronics giants Philips Electronics and Sony Corp. announced the launch of Near Field Communication technology in 2002, the industry watched as NFC’s market prospects gradually descended from hype to hope, then disappointment to disillusionment.

What appeared to be a simple and compelling idea–consumers touching their phones to pay for coffee, ride the bus, download coupons or pass information to friends–has proved unexpectedly complex to bring to market. The massive rollouts of NFC, it seems, are always three years off; phones supporting the technology always scarce.

But the investment in NFC has continued and so have the trials. Now some major players appear poised to move.

BalabanFor example, in France, major mobile operators and banks, along with a number of other service providers, are preparing for a dress rehearsal this spring for an intended national launch in 2011. In the UK, major telcos and banks are gearing up for commercial launches well ahead of the 2012 “contactless Olympics" in London, while one of the largest transit operators in the world, Transport for London, has made it no secret it wants to have riders tapping NFC phones to cover fares by the end of 2010.

Elsewhere, in the U.S., NFC and other contactless-mobile launches are in the planning stages. And the technology is beginning to gather steam in Asia, as well. Later this year in China, mobile operators plan to showcase mobile ticketing and payment for the World Expo in Shanghai, including a large rollout of specially made contactless SIMs being issued by giant telco China Mobile. Over in Japan, there seems little question that telcos will move the world’s largest base of contactless-mobile payment and ticketing from strictly proprietary technology to NFC over the next few years.  

And then there is Apple. If Steve Jobs blesses NFC technology by putting it in the fourth-generation iPhone in the summer as expected–even just to simplify syncing of Apple devices–other phone makers and mobile operators are sure to follow with NFC introductions of their own.

Meanwhile, contactless stickers, microSD cards and other peripherals are starting to appear to fill the gap until NFC phones arrive. And high-end contactless cards continue their slow, inexorable spread across North America and to a lesser extent, Europe, while contactless hotspots in Asia expand.
 
But a nascent industry like this one needs a reliable and independent source of information. It needs a publication determined to set the agenda for coverage, not wait to be spoon-fed press releases and talking points. It needs a publication that will highlight successes, but also ask the tough questions when project launches or product introductions don’t turn out as planned.

NFC Times will be that publication. Produced by real journalists, NFC Times will offer exclusive news, analysis and commentary on NFC, contactless cards and related technology.

Here you will find a searchable database and interactive map plotted with more than 100 NFC and contactless-mobile trials and rollouts dating from 2003. This never-before-assembled database includes all the important uses of the technology–with facts and figures, context and commentary, on each project. The database will grow in step with the market.

You will also find profiles on a number of important industry players and suppliers, taking an unvarnished look at their NFC and related contactless activities and strategy. The profiles will also provide links to major projects along with key personnel and data. The list of profiles, too, will continue to grow.

But NFC Times will be anchored by news and analysis you won’t find anywhere else, delivered to you via this Web site, by free e-mail updates you can register for here and later by a subscription-based newsletter and premium Web content that will feature in-depth stories and data. We’ll complement this with other important news stories and commentary from external sites.

All this will give you the most complete source of information on NFC and related contactless technology available anywhere. The Times call for a new publication covering this industry, and NFC Times answers that call.  

February 2010

HEADLINE NEWS

In-Depth: Payments Wearables Market Enters New Phase as Passive Devices Get Tokenized Bank Cards

NFC TIMES Exclusive – With the announcement this month by large analog watchmaker Swatch of the expansion of its digital payments service SwatchPAY! to Europe, the payments wearables market could see a considerable change.

Provisioning Tokens to Swatch Watches in the Store: How SwatchPAY! Works

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Switzerland-based watchmaker Swatch plans to roll out its SwatchPAY! contactless payments service to a number of European countries and then perhaps globally, representing budding competition to Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay. But unlike these three smartwatch-enabled Pays services and others, SwatchPAY! uses low-cost analog watches as its payments devices.

Cook Discloses Apple Pay Transactions Showing That Growth Continues, Albeit Somewhat More Slowly Than Before

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple Tuesday reported that its digital payments service recorded more than 1.8 billion transactions globally in the tech giant’s fiscal first quarter ending in December, more than double compared with the same quarter a year earlier–though transaction growth is slowing and transactions still represent a small percentage of total card transactions.

Garmin Pay Welcomes Support from Third U.S. Network but More Competition on Horizon

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Garmin Pay added a third network to its smartwatch payments service in the U.S. this week, enabling Discover Financial Services-branded cards to be loaded onto its NFC-enabled devices, as more acceptance points for NFC payments in the U.S. come online to give consumers additional places to tap to pay.

Another Major Holdout Among Major U.S. Merchants, Target, Agrees to Accept Contactless and NFC Payments

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Acceptance of contactless and NFC payments in the U.S. has lagged behind many other developed markets for years, but that continues to change, with another major merchant–big box retailer and top 10 U.S. chain Target­–announcing Tuesday that it would soon take tap and pay.

Swatch Expands Payments Service–Provides Affordable Analog Alternative to Smartwatches

Jan 21 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Swatch, one of the world’s largest watchmakers, has expanded its contactless-payments service to its home base of Switzerland, launching the restyled SwatchPAY! service with seven card issuers Thursday. A spokeswoman told NFC Times the company plans to expand the service to other European countries this year. 

Dutch Bank ABN Amro Commercially Launches Payments Wearables with System to Provision after Sale

Jan 18 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Dutch bank ABN Amro commercially launched its contactless payments service from wearables this week, following a lengthy pilot.

More Asian Cities Open Up to Open-Loop Cards and NFC- and QR Code-Based Fare Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Unlike transit authorities in the U.S. and Europe, transit agencies and the governments that control them in Asia often run their closed-loop fare-collection schemes as separate businesses.

In-Depth: Contactless Card Issuance to Finally Get Rolling in U.S. This Year

Jan 23 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The U.S. is finally on the brink of large-scale contactless EMV card issuance, with optimistic projections from the payment networks, and at least one of the largest U.S. issuers committed to converting its credit and debit card portfolios  to dual-interface cards by the end of 2019.

In-Depth: In-Car Payments Gears Up but Takes Time to Get Rolling

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Car manufacturers, payments networks and platform providers continue to make deals as they gear up for the much-anticipated arrival of in-car payments–which would enable motorists to buy gasoline, pay for parking and purchase food for takeout, all from their dashboards.

Golden Globes Trophies Get Provisioned Like Payments Wearables to Ensure Authenticity

NFC TIMES Exclusive – The 76th Annual Golden Globes held Sunday featured the usual share of Hollywood celebrities preening for the cameras, showing off their new designer gowns and latest nips and tucks, while holding their trophies high if they won.

Japanese Megabank Mizuho Plans to Launch New Digital Currency Soon for Mobile Payments Service

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Japanese megabank Mizuho will reportedly move forward with its planned launch of a new digital currency to enable QR code-based mobile payments in stores and for funds transfers–with plans to cut the fees merchants will pay to accept the new payments scheme, as compared with credit cards.