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

Fitbit Unveils First Non-Smartwatch Supporting NFC Payments Service, but Progress of Device Rollout Slow

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight ­– U.S.-based wearables maker Fitbit in October plans to release its first non-smartwatch supporting its payments service, Fitbit Pay, with the recent unveiling of its new health and fitness tracker Charge 3–but as with its Versa smartwatch, released in April, the NFC payments feature will only be available on a “special edition” version of the tracker in the U.S. and likely in some other markets.

Analysis: Three Years In, Samsung Pay Transaction Figures Are Still Nothing to Boast About

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – ­Three years after its launch in South Korea, consumer take-up of Samsung Pay remains lackluster, despite the company’s efforts to hype up its newly released figures.

Dominant NFC Chip Supplier Seeks to Move Up Value Chain by Providing More Services

NFC TIMES Exclusive – NXP Semiconductors, the dominant supplier of NFC chips and secure elements for smartphones and wearables, is seeking to push further up the value chain, offering such services as a white-label wallet platform and provisioning of bank and transit payments applications.

More Cities Plan to Launch Transit Ticketing in Google Pay Wallet

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Some major cities plan to enable their transit fare payments in the Google Pay wallet, using NXP’s Mifare 2GO provisioning service, NXP Semiconductors confirmed to NFC Times, adding that the implementations could put the fare-payments applications on secure elements.

Vancouver Transit Authority Plans to Run Open-Loop and Closed-Loop Fare Collection Side by Side

Aug 13 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Vancouver-area transit authority TransLink is seeing modest consumer take-up for its new open-loop contactless fare payments service and around 6% of the contactless EMV credit transactions are from NFC mobile wallets so far, NFC Times has learned.

Mastercard Backs Open-Loop Transit Payments in Taiwan’s No. 2 City

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second-largest city, plans to enable riders to enter subway gates by tapping contactless EMV credit cards and NFC wallets by the end of the year, working with Mastercard.

Traditional Watchmaker Fossil Adds NFC Payments, Heart Monitor to Smartwatch Line, as It Seeks to Reverse Earnings Slump

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Struggling U.S.-based watchmaker Fossil has introduced NFC for the first time, in its Q line of smartwatches, hoping the support for Google Pay and other smartwatch applications will help the mainly traditional watchmaker to stay competitive as more consumers turn away from traditional watches.

Analysis: Apple Touts Growth, as It Releases First Global Transaction Figure for Apple Pay; but Service Continues to Face Challenges

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple released the number of global transactions for its Apple Pay service–believed to be the first time it has done so–as the tech giant touted a tripling of transactions to more than 1 billion for the latest quarter. Apple also disclosed plans by two more large U.S. retailers to accept contactless payments and announced that another major country, Germany, would support Apple Pay, later this year.

Japan’s SoftBank Group Plans Digital Payments Service; Can It Convince Consumers to Part with Their Cash?

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight –  SoftBank Group’s reported plans to launch a mobile digital payments service in Japan by year’s end–collaborating with Indian mobile payments provider Paytm–is an attempt by SoftBank Group founder Masayoshi Son to do what other large companies have tried and failed to do: wean Japanese consumers off of cash.

Garmin Unveils New Smartwatch Series Supporting Garmin Pay

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – U.S.-based wearables maker Garmin has introduced a fourth smartwatch to its lineup of devices supporting its NFC-enabled payments service, Garmin Pay, the high-end D2 Delta watch series targeted at aviators or aviator wannabes.

Hong Kong Subway Operator and Majority Owner of Octopus Pursues QR Code-Based Transit Payments

NFC TIMES EXCLUSIVE Insight – Hong Kong’s MTR Corp., which runs the city’s subway system, next month will accept tenders from technology and payments providers for a QR code-based fare collection service that will serve as an alternative to its much-used contactless Octopus card.

Open-Loop Payments Connected with Campus ID Cards Not to be Included in Apple Wallet

NFC TIMES Exclusive – NFC-based student ID cards provisioned to Apple Wallet beginning this fall won’t include the open-loop debit payments that are often part of plastic student ID cards, NFC Times has learned.