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

‘No Way We were Going to Ask for Half a Billion Dollars…’

Unlike other major transit agencies in the U.S., which have spent hundreds of millions of dollars replacing or upgrading their fare-collection systems, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has taken a different approach.

UK Bus Operator Go-Ahead Reports Cash Usage has Plummeted Because of Covid, While Contactless Transactions have Surged

The Go-Ahead Group, one of the big five privately owned public bus operators in the UK, said today it has seen cash usage on board the nearly 3,000 buses it runs in England outside of London fall to 23% of transactions, down from 53% three years ago.

Transit Operator Arriva Launches MaaS App in Netherlands; Hints at Expansion to Other European Countries

Arriva, one of the largest private transit operators in Europe, has launched a mobility-as-a-service app in the Netherlands, using white-label software from Israel-based trip-planning app provider

Cal-ITP: Agencies in California Could Hold ‘Several More’ Open-Loop Fare Payments Pilots

The California Integrated Travel Project, or Cal-ITP, is “on track to have at least several more” open-loop pilots or demonstration projects, a spokeswoman for the program told Mobility Payments.

Exclusive: Australia’s Transport for New South Wales Sees ‘Significant Increase’ in Use of Mobile Wallets by Riders

Mobile wallets now make up more than half of all contactless payments for Transport for New South Wales, Australia’s largest transit agency, the agency confirmed to Mobility Payments.

Start-Up Aims to Encourage More Taxi Drivers to Accept Bank Cards for Fares in Turkey

A Turkish start-up hopes to entice more taxi drivers to accept contactless credit and debit cards using SoftPOS terminals on Android smartphones, under a scheme being rolled out by the local fintec

Moscow Metro Launches Test of Facial Recognition Fare Payments Ahead of Rollout; Agency Says Masks Can Slow Verification

Moscow Metro announced that it is officially testing facial recognition-based fare payments at turnstiles, with plans to roll out the technology by the end of the year.

Major Transit Agency to Test Virtual Closed-Loop Cards with Google Pay

Aug 8 2021

Moscow Metro is launching a trial of a virtual version of its closed-loop Troika card that will be added to the Google Pay wallet, the agency announced Wednesday.

WMATA in D.C. Rolling Out New Terminals but has No Immediate Plans to Support Open Loop

The Washington (D.C.) Metropolitan Area Transit Authority last month started to replace 1,200 aging fare gates for its 91-station metro system and starting next year will do the same with 20-plus year-old fareboxes on board 1,500 buses, including upgraded readers for its closed-loop SmarTrip cards.

Visa Touts Growth in Contactless, Continues to Push Open-Loop Payments

Visa reported this week that contactless payments continued to climb as a percentage of all face-to-face transactions with its brand, mainly at retail, and among the uses the network is continuing to push for contactless is to pay for transit fares.

MaaS Global CEO: Transit Agencies Should Not Control MaaS Platforms

Sampo Hietanen, founder and CEO of Finland-based MaaS Global, agrees with most other industry experts that public transit should form the “core” of the mobility services on offer in any MaaS app or platform. But he contends that it would be a mistake for the agency itself to control the platform.

Case Study: German City First to Go Live with Check-in/be-out System in Country

Despite the growing popularity of contactless, NFC and QR-code technologies for electronic fare-collection, some transit agencies are experimenting with other technologies to collect fares.