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

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.