Dan Balaban's blog

Although Banks are Looking Keenly at HCE, NFC SIM Not Dead Yet

NFC Times Exclusive: While banks gearing up for NFC launches are keenly interested in host-card emulation, as this week’s NFC Times story about planned NFC launches in France notes, a number of banks in France and elsewhere do not plan to wait until HCE is mature enough for commercial rollouts.

Telcos, SIM Vendors Live with HCE; MasterCard Grows Silent on Google Waiver, Weve Deal

With Google’s strong push behind host-card emulation and endorsements from Visa and MasterCard Worldwide, mobile operators, SIM vendors and TSMs are resigned to living with the technology, even publicly supporting it–up to a point.

Backing by Visa Promises Big Boost for HCE, but Many Banks Expected to Stick with Secure Elements for Now

NFC Times Exclusive: Visa seems to be developing a habit of taking a dig at mobile operators right before their showcase event, the Mobile World Congress, which starts next week in Barcelona.

MCX Deal with Paydiant Leaves Gemalto in Limbo

The announcement Wednesday by U.S. merchant group MCX that it is working with U.S. vendor Paydiant for its planned QR-code based mobile-payments service raises doubts of just what role remains for France-based Gemalto.

Despite HCE Buzz, Expect Lots of Secure Elements in 2014

NFC Times Exclusive: Despite the buzz around host-card emulation, or HCE, which allows for payment and other NFC applications on contactless card terminals without the need for secure elements, expect plenty of embedded secure elements and NFC SIMs to be shipped in 2014.

CapOne Keen on HCE, OTI Wave Attachment

NFC Times Exclusive: When Capital One dropped out of the Isis trial in September, some people thought the issuer–one of the largest in the U.S.­–would be back, perhaps after it waited to see if Isis would actually take off.

Isis Technology May be Ready This Year, But Effective National Launch is 2014

NFC Times Exclusive: Isis made good on its pledge to go nationwide before the end of the year, with its announcement of its national launch today, after Verizon made version 2.0 of the Isis Mobile Wallet live on Google Play yesterday. That followed AT&T and T-Mobile USA, which had earlier made the new wallet app available.

Expanded Coverage and New Premium Content from NFC Times

There’s a lot of free NFC news and analysis on the Internet, and most of it is worth just about what you pay for it.

Battle Continues for Control of NFC Phones as Samsung Weighs in

At least two-thirds of NFC phones that shipped last year packed embedded secure chips and that share is expected to hold fast this year.

Where is Google Wallet 2.0? And is Bedier Bound for MCX?

Anticipation was peaking when Osama Bedier, Google’s vice president of wallet and payments, stepped to the stage for his keynote at the Money 2020 conference in Las Vegas Oct. 22.

HEADLINE NEWS

German Transit Agency Plans to Complete Open-Loop Rollout on Buses and Trains This Quarter, Expand to Other Mobility Later

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – German transit agency SWB Bus and Bahn plans to fully roll out its contactless EMV fare payments service BONNsmart to its bus and train lines by the end of the first quarter, after launching a pilot last fall, confirmed a spokesman, who added that plans call for eventually expanding the contactless service to payments for parking and such micromobility modes as e-scooters.

Large Private U.S. Bus Company Latest to Adopt Mobile Ticketing in Covid Era

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Academy Bus, a large private commuter and charter bus company serving the U.S. East Coast, has launched its first mobile-ticketing service with the SilverPass app, enabling commuters to purchase digital tickets with credit cards or employer benefit cards.

LA Transit Authority Introduces Virtual TAP Card on Android, Complementing Earlier Launch with Apple

Feb 2 2021

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, has followed through with plans to offer Android NFC phone users a way to pay fares with the agency’s TAP closed-loop fare card.

Penetration Rates for Contactless Payments Saw Strong Growth in 2020, including in U.S., Say Networks

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The CEOs of both Visa and Mastercard in their respective earnings calls yesterday confirmed that contactless payments continued to grow as a share of all face-to-face card payments, with consumer fears of handling cash building on already strong growth trends for the technology.

Moscow Metro Sees Continued Growth in Open-Loop Transactions Despite Fall in Ridership from Covid

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The Moscow Metro saw a large increase in contactless open-loop transactions in 2020, despite a sharp fall in ridership because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Roman Latypov, a first deputy CEO for the transit agency.

Visa Increases Support for Analog Watches and Other Passive Wearables

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Visa is supporting another provisioning company, Sweden-based Fidesmo, to deliver and manage Visa-generated tokens to passive wearables, such as analog designer watches, keyrings and bracelets. The move, which follows Visa’s support in recent months for at least one other provisioning company serving an analog watchmaker, promises to expand use of payments wearables to more issuers, markets and devices.  

U.S. Transit Agency in Pennsylvania Latest to Launch Mobile and Smart Card Ticketing with SaaS Platform

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – A mid-tier U.S. transit agency in Pennsylvania is the latest to introduce mobile ticketing with an option for riders to use smart cards to pay for fares, using a software-as-a-service ticketing platform from a start-up.

New York’s MTA Hits OMNY Milestone as Contactless EMV Transactions Continue to Grow

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has recorded more than 35 million contactless transactions since it launched its OMNY open-loop fare payments service in May of 2019, and usage continues to increase.

Milan Transit Operator Plans to Give Contactless EMV Fare Payments Larger Role, Including Use with Planned MaaS Platform

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Milan’s public transit operator, Azienda Trasporti Milanesi, or ATM, which began accepting contactless credit and debit cards on its four-line metro in 2018, has begun to expand the EMV payments service to buses. But the agency has much larger plans for the technology.

Boston Transit Authority Makes Aggressive Move to Eliminate Cash in Planned Fare-Collection System

NFC TIMES EXCLUSIVE Insight – The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, or MBTA, in Boston plans to completely do away with cash fare payments on its various transport modes when it rolls out its massive new fare-collection system, an MBTA official told attendees during a recent virtual conference.

Israel Launches Nationwide Mobile-Ticketing Scheme; Moovit, Others Provide Apps

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Israel this week launched a nationwide mobile-ticketing system, enabling riders to pay for trips on buses and later on railways, with the charges assessed at the end of each month.

In-Depth: Networks Developing New Uses for SoftPOS, Though Questions Remain about Interoperability and Costs of Technology

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While the idea of letting merchants use their own NFC-enabled smartphones and tablets as acceptance devices to take contactless EMV payments is still getting off the ground, some major payments networks are already working on expanding the technology to enable consumers to tap their own devices to pay.