Dan Balaban's blog

Visa and MasterCard Continue to Downplay Isis, While Taking Steps to Compete

Although both Visa and MasterCard are downplaying the impact of the Isis joint venture on their mobile-payment strategy, there’s little doubt that the U.S. mobile-carrier JV adds a sense of urgency to everything the payment schemes now do with mobile phones.

What’s in a Title? Lots of NFC Phones, Though the iPhone Remains to be Seen

After years of hype and false starts, it appears NFC phones will finally arrive in significant variety and quantity next year. And nothing says that better than a new job title at NXP Semiconductors, "NFC volume ramp-up program manager."

C7 False Start: Nokia Still Can’t Find the NFC Groove

If Nokia isn’t careful, it will botch the launch of its first NFC smartphone.

Telcos and M-Payment: Vendors See a Market

While the joint venture formed by U.S. mobile carriers to roll out NFC mobile payment and other services is the most prominent example of telcos planning to enter the retail payment market, it surely will not be the only one. 

Visa microSD Now in Testing, but When Will it be Certified?

Given the publicity that DeviceFidelity has been receiving the past several months for its contactless microSD card technology, In2Pay, I figured the makers of rival contactless microSDs would be busy making excuses.

Dutch Banks and Telcos to Go to Full NFC, but Will They Use It?

Dutch banks and telcos seem determined to deploy full NFC phones, not bridge technologies, when they launch their planned mobile-payment services in 2012.

Who is Apple's Benjamin Vigier?

Tech bloggers and online journalists who cover this industry worked themselves into a frenzy again the past week, this time over the hiring by Apple of Benjamin Vigier as project manager for mobile commerce.

Visa and MasterCard Offer Little Response to Telco Payment Plans

Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide haven’t said much in response to plans by major U.S. mobile carriers to turn their subscribers’ phones into payment devices. But what they have said indicates the card schemes will brand the telcos’ initiative as closed and bad for consumers.

Lower Interchange in the UK: A Well-Kept Secret

Visa and MasterCard sure can keep a secret.

Against the Odds, the Dutch Find a Reason to Believe

No, this is not a column about some plucky European football squad from a small country making it into the World Cup finals.

HEADLINE NEWS

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.

Planned Account-Based Ticketing Project Remains on Track in Queensland; Expected to Give Customers More Ways to Pay

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The new account-based ticketing system under development for the Australian state of Queensland remains on track and on budget to be fully rolled out by 2022, despite the challenges of working through the Covid-19 pandemic, Martin Bradshaw, project head and general manager for passenger transport strategy and technology for transit agency TransLink, told NFC Times through a spokesman.