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

Uber Expands Mobile Ticketing to More U.S. Public Transit Agencies

NFC TIMES Exclusive – As expected, Uber today has expanded support for public transit ticketing in its app again, this time to a consortium of 13 small and mid-tier transit agencies in Ohio and Northern Kentucky–following two other U.S. transit agencies, in Denver and Las Vegas, which have already integrated with Uber–it was announced today. NFC Times had reported the planned move in late May. 

Open-Loop Fare Payments Rollouts Continue Post-Lockdowns, with Italy’s Fourth Largest City Latest to Launch Service

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Another of Italy’s major cities has launched open-loop fare collection, with Turin enabling customers to pay for rides on its one-line metro and certain bus routes by tapping their contactless EMV credit and debit cards, along with smartphones and smartwatches supporting NFC payments services.

Calgary Transit Launches Mobile-Ticketing Service with Plans to Expand to Open Loop

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Canada’s third largest city, Calgary, has introduced its first electronic fare payments service, offering mobile ticketing from a software-as-a-service platform provider, with plans to enable customers to pay for fares with their contactless EMV credit and debit cards and NFC wallets.

As E-Commerce Surges, Major U.S. Payments Networks Announce Plans to Expand Click to Pay Globally

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – As e-commerce continues to grow in importance as Covid-19 lockdowns ease, four major U.S. payments networks announced today they are laying the groundwork to expand their uniform e-commerce checkout platform internationally.

Transit Payments Company Head: Apple and Google Positioned to Take Bigger Piece of Payments Industry

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The head of transit payments gateway and processor Littlepay said he believes that Apple and Google are well-positioned to take a “big bite out of the payment chain,” which could change their relationship with payments networks Visa and Mastercard from one of collaboration to one of competition.

Cubic Expands Agreement with Moovit, Seeking to Drive More Use of Mobile Apps by Transit Agencies

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – U.S.-based Cubic Transportation Systems and Israel-based trip planning app provider Moovit, now owned by Intel, have expanded their partnership to develop mobile services for transit agencies, seeking to enable transit customers to “look, book and pay” for multimodal journeys.

Brussels Latest European Capital to Launch Open-Loop Fare Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Major Brussels transit operator STIB-MIVB plans to begin accepting contactless EMV credit and debit cards and NFC wallets on Wednesday, the latest European capital to launch open-loop payments following the success of the technology as demonstrated in London.

In-Depth: Boston Transit Agency Seeks to Put Massive Fare-Collection Project Back on Track

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The massive new fare-collection system planned by Boston’s Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, or MBTA, which will include open-loop contactless payments and an expanded closed-loop program, has had trouble getting off the ground. Late last week, the transit agency finalized its “reset” of the project, agreeing to increase the contract by nearly 30% to just over $935 million and to add two more years to the rollout schedule–all in hopes of getting the project back on track.

With E-Commerce Skyrocketing, Tokenized Transactions Expected to Soar, as Well

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – As more consumers buy online, and to a lesser extent use mobile wallets for in-store purchases, because of the coronavirus pandemic, tokenized card transactions are expected to increase dramatically.  

Software-as-Service Platforms for Transit Agencies Begin to Support Open-Loop Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – In what is believed to be a first, a transit agency in Europe plans to accept contactless credit and debit cards using a third-party software-as-a-service platform this summer, UK-based platform provider Masabi told NFC Times, although the company declined to name the agency. The project is expected to begin as a pilot.

Apple Launches Overdue Octopus Payments Service in Hong Kong, as It Continues to Seek More Transit Applications for Wallet

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple today finally launched its Octopus transit payments service in Hong Kong on Apple Pay, nearly a year after the service was originally announced and more than two years after rival Samsung introduced a similar service in the market.

Mastercard: Contactless Payments in Europe Approach 80% of Card Transactions; Pandemic Causes More Consumers to Shun Cash

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While contactless payments in Europe were already commonplace and continue to grow, the Covid-19 pandemic has created even more interest in the technology among consumers, according to a report released Thursday by Mastercard. The report includes a survey showing that consumers in eight major European markets say they use NFC-enabled smartphones and wearables for a combined 32% of all contactless transactions, a spokeswoman confirmed to NFC Times.