Barclaycard Joins NFC Forum as First Bank Board Member

UK-based payment card issuer and acquirer Barclaycard has joined the NFC Forum as a sponsor member, giving it a seat on the board of the standards and trade group, the forum announced today.

In addition, advertising agency Dentsu, which dominates its home Japanese market, and NFC software and trusted service management company Sequent Software joined as principal members, one rung below the sponsor membership category, the forum said.

Also joining at lower levels were Isis, the joint venture of U.S. mobile carriers Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile USA; as well as Chinese handset maker ZTE and HTC, based in Taiwan. All told, the 29 new members joined bringing the total membership of the forum to 160.

Barclaycard, which is part of UK-based Barclays, is the first bank that will have a seat on the board. Other board members mainly hail from technology companies, such as forum co-founders NXP Semiconductors, Sony and Nokia, as well as Inside Secure, Microsoft, Broadcom, Renesas Electronics, Samsung Electronics and STMicroelectronics. MasterCard Worldwide, Visa Inc. and Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo round out the 14 sponsor companies.

A seat on the board costs $50,000 per year, the dues for sponsor members, which control the organization and have final say over standard and trade issues the forum handles.

Barclaycard is one of the few financial institutions of any type among the members of the forum, which was founded in 2004.

Barclaycard with its parent, Barclays, has been the most aggressive player in the UK contactless card market. And Barclaycard’s Quick Tap NFC payment service–launched with Orange UK in May–is one of the first NFC commercial launches in the world.

As of July, Barclays and Barclaycard had issued more than 80% of the approximately 15 million UK contactless cards in circulation at the time. The bank has supplied an even higher percentage of contactless terminals to UK merchants.

"I believe that NFC is fundamental to the future of payments and the wider mobile experience,” said Val Soranno Keating, Barclaycard CEO, in a statement. “Having established the infrastructure, we can now offer customers choice in the way they pay.”

Both sponsor and principal members can appoint voting members to the forum’s various committees and working groups, where standards and policies are hashed out. Their membership in the forum signals that the organizations have significant plans for NFC technology.

Dentsu and Sequent join such other principal members as American Express, AT&T, Google, Intel, LG Electronics, PayPal, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. Principal members pay $25,000 per year in dues.

Others joining the group as associate members, as announced today by the forum, are: AgreeYa Mobility Avery Dennison RFID, Bureau Veritas, ADT, C-SAM, Cubic Transportation Systems, Ixxi, Korea Smart Card,  Raisonance, Recruit, Sharp, XAC Automation and ZTE.

New Implementer members are: Datang Telecom Technology, HTC, Isis, Novatec Solutions, I/O Interconnect, Obopay, Posiflex Technology, Proxama, Sunward Telecom, TCL Communication Technology, Timwe, UPM RFID and Vittec. The Technology Research Center of Henan Province, China, also joined as a non-profit member. 

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.