Dan Balaban's blog

Forget Apple; Waiting for Android and Symbian

Anssi Vanjoki is reportedly the man who chose Nokia’s signature ring-tone–once so ubiquitous it was difficult to get through a day without hearing it several times, chiming from subscribers’ pockets.

An NFC-Enabled iPhone? Likely to Wait Until Next Year

Two prototypes of the planned fourth-generation iPhone have now leaked out, and that is not counting the white front panel believed to belong to the next iPhone that surfaced in Taiwan last week.

Apple Buying Vivotech? When Rumors Get Out of Hand

Well, it started small, as these things usually do.

In the Case of the Missing iPhone, No Word on NFC

While Apple has retrieved the prototype of its fourth-generation iPhone that a careless engineer apparently left on a bar stool in the Silicon Valley hamlet of Redwood City last month, there are no reports yet of how the company is going to prevent similar screwups.

How Long Can DoCoMo Resist A Move to NFC?

It is coming up on six years since NTT DoCoMo launched the first of its contactless wallet phones, and we have to conclude that the rollout has not been successful.

From Bangalore Bounce to Skins in America?: Citi Keen To Launch M-Payment

U.S.-based Citigroup recently made a big deal out of the results of its large NFC trial held in Bangalore, India, last year, which showed transactions soared­–by as much as 329% among one subset of users.

Innovation-Unit Overhauls: Visa and MasterCard Retool to Stay Competitive

For at least the past six months to a year, the big card networks, Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide, have been reorganizing their innovation teams–much of it behind the scenes–as they try to avoid missing out on the opportunity offered by mobile payment.

Visa Goes Outside the Organization for Its New Head of Mobile

The fact that Visa Inc. went outside the organization, and outside the bank-payments industry entirely, for its new head of mobile says much about the scant progress Visa has made in its mobile initiative the past couple of years, according to observers.

Big U.S. Telcos and Banks Pursue M-Payment Separately

If there is one thing the big U.S. telcos and banks seem to agree on is that it’s possible to roll out contactless-mobile payment in America without working together.

Some Details Yet To Be ‘Discovered’ About U.S. Telco M-Payment Plans

In the competitive U.S. mobile market, the big carriers, especially the top two, Verizon and AT&T, are not above calling out their rivals by name in television commercials–rather frequently, in fact–pointing out the inadequacies of the other’s network while promoting the advantages of their own.

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.