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

Transport for London Proposes Extending Licensing Deal with Cubic for Open Payments Technology

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – London transit authority Transport for London is proposing to extend an agreement with U.S.-based fare collection system vendor Cubic Transportation Systems to license the authority’s technology used in its pioneering contactless open-loop payments system.

Fitbit Pay Launches in 21st Market, Though Issuer Numbers in Most Markets Remain Small

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Fitbit Pay has entered its 21st market, with the launch this week in Thailand with two of the country’s top four banks, Kasikorn Bank and Siam Commercial Bank, along with credit card issuer Krungthai Card, or KTC, supporting the digital payments service.

Denmark’s Largest Bank Pilots Own Payments Wearables, Choosing Low-Tech Option Over Apple Watch

Oct 13 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest financial institution, is pitting its planned low-tech FastPay payments wearables against Apple Watch and some other higher-end wearables using tokenization, as it launches a large pilot starting this month in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Study: Apple Pay Dominates Mobile Payments Among Debit Card Users in U.S., Though Volume Remains Low

NFC Times Exclusive Insight ­– New research shows that Apple Pay continues to dominate mobile payments services for bank cards in the U.S., although transaction volume is still low.

NFC Student ID Cards Launch in Apple’s Wallet, Though Progress Remains Slow for Apple to Add Nonbank NFC Applications

Oct 12 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight –Three U.S. universities Tuesday launched NFC-enabled ID cards in Apple’s Wallet, with Apple confirming that only three more U.S.

LA Metro Plans NFC-Enabled Mobile App for TAP Card But Holds Off on Open Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, plans to introduce mobile payments using NFC phonesbut only supporting its closed-loop TAP fare payments service, not open-loop payments, NFC Times has learned.

Chinese Wearables Makers Begin to Introduce Low-Cost Devices Supporting NFC Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – A new smartwatch from low-cost Chinese wearables maker Huami and the latest fitness band version from Huami’s major investor and partner, Xiaomi, both support transit and retail payments–making them among the first budget smart wearables devices supporting NFC payments.

In-Depth: San Francisco’s $461 Million Transit Contract Will Support NFC Ticketing but Not Open-Loop Contactless Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – A planned US$461 million contract to upgrade and operate the Clipper fare collection system in the San Francisco Bay Area will include account-based ticketing and a mobile app that will enable customers to tap for rides with a closed-loop virtual Clipper card on NFC-enabled smartphones.

Apple Drops Requirement to Have App Open for Tag Reading

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple has relaxed its approach to NFC tag reading in its new iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and Xr models, removing the requirement to have a reader application open in order to use a tag. It calls the feature Background Tag Reading, and it offers essentially the same functionality that Android devices have had for years.  

Fossil Expands Support for NFC Payments, as It Continues Push into Smartwatch Market

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – U.S.-based Fossil Group is pushing deeper into the smartwatch market, as it seeks to diversify from the financially strapped traditional watch market. Among the apps Fossil is offering on several new smartwatch models are Google Pay and Alipay, the latter in China.

Google Expands Payments Service in India, Targeting Projected $1 Trillion Digital Payments Market

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight Google, its eye on India’s projected US$1 trillion digital payments market in five years, has rebranded its Tez payments service to Google Pay and is planning to expand its services, including to Gmail-based payments and, later, NFC.

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

Oct 13 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight ­– U.S.-based wearables maker Fitbit in November 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.