Following Samsung, Sony, Other Device Makers Likely to Promote Embedded Secure Element

While Samsung Electronics has made known a major part of its embedded secure-element strategy for its NFC phones–with its work with Visa, MasterCard Worldwide and likely other payment schemes–Samsung isn’t the only device maker planning to enable applications on its NFC phones.

Sony Mobile also has an emerging embedded chip strategy for its Xperia NFC line, NFC Times has learned.

The Android phone maker is believed to be gearing up to offer its embedded chips as early as this fall, sources said. It would likely use embedded chips from either NXP Semiconductors or STMicroelectronics.

Like Samsung, Sony would only promote the chip in markets where mobile operators don't subsidize a high percentage of the smartphones, and Sony might yet back off on its embedded chip strategy or delay it, said a source.

Other device makers are also exploring opportunities to enable payment and other secure applications on their NFC-enabled embedded chips. They could earn fees from service providers for playing host to the applets.

Among original equipment makers that have already participated in a project is HTC, which enabled payment on its embedded chips with China UnionPay and China Merchants Bank in 2012. And like Samsung and probably Sony, the device maker is working in Russia.

Russian trusted service manager i-Free plans to enable a prepaid application from Tinkoff Credit Systems bank. And Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, has told NFC Times it is working with one or more Chinese OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), in addition to Samsung, and other device makers–probably HTC and Sony–to put its payment application on embedded chips. It has also talked to BlackBerry.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry has included an embedded secure element in every one of its NFC-enabled phones, starting in August 2011 with its first NFC phones running in the BlackBerry 7 operating system. The smartphone maker is continuing to include an Infineon-produced embedded chip in its BlackBerry 10 devices, starting with its Z10 and Q10 phones.

BlackBerry, formerly known as Research in Motion, hasn’t yet used the embedded chips for commercial services. It was initially hoping to enable payment applications on the chips, but had been discouraged from that idea by mobile operators, said sources. It might still try to promote payment, in certain markets, where telcos don’t control handset distribution.

BlackBerry has publicly said only that it plans to enable enterprise ID applications, such as corporate badges and perhaps meal vouchers and other benefits.

The smartphone maker has its own trusted service manager, using a Bell ID platform, which it could use to manage the embedded chips for service providers–though it remains to be seen when BlackBerry will go beyond the pilot stage with its embedded applications.

Such other Android phone makers as LG Electronics is believed to have much less interest, at present, in promoting embedded secure elements in its NFC phones. That could always change. And some Chinese Android phone makers are believed to be working with service providers.

For example, Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, has told NFC Times it is working with one or more Chinese OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), in addition to Samsung, and other device makers–probably HTC and Sony–to put its payment application on embedded chips.

That includes work in the lab, at present, with the OEMs, but the bank hopes to launch an NFC payment service from embedded chips in the next year, perhaps as early as the end of 2013; and is in discussions with Visa and Samsung to demonstrate a Visa payWave application for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February. That's according to Mircea Mihaescu, Sberbank’s director of IT strategy and technology innovation and a principal of the bank’s venture capital arm.

The demo phone will likely be Samsung's Galaxy S4, which comes with payWave preloaded on the embedded chip. Mihaescu said Sberbank has also talked to BlackBerry.

In addition to Android and BlackBerry NFC phones, it's possible Microsoft could support embedded chips in future versions of its Windows Phone operating system. To appease operators, Microsoft withheld support for embedded chips in its present Windows Phone 8 version.

HEADLINE NEWS

Post-Lockdown, Transit Riders Want Agencies to Run Vehicles More Frequently, Provide Real-Time Arrival Information and Offer Contactless and Mobile Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight - Up to a third of transit riders in several cities say contactless payments and mobile ticketing would encourage them to return t

New York’s OMNY Project Completes Major Milestone, as Transit Officials Point to Steady Growth in Adoption

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it is seeing steady growth in use of its OMNY open-loop fare payments system by customers–though overall open-loop payments remain small–as the agency continues its phased rollout of acceptance of contactless EMV bank cards and NFC Pays wallets. 

In-Depth: Trip-Planning Giant Moovit Begins to Enable Ticketing and Payments, as Rivals Make Similar Moves

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Moovit, which bills itself as the world's largest “urban mobility app,” has begun to enable public transit ticketing and payments from its platform, as it seeks to deliver what it says is a true mobility-as-a-service experience for users.

Los Angeles Transit Authority Follows Through with Plans to Enable TAP Card for Apple Pay; Google Pay to Follow

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Another major U.S. transit agency has introduced a virtual closed-loop card for Apple Pay this week, with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, announcing the move Thursday. It comes a couple of days after the Washington (D.C.) Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, or WMATA, announced it had put its SmarTrip closed-loop card on Apple’s NFC-enabled devices, as well.

Apple Enables Virtual SmarTrip Fare Card for Apple Pay in Washington, D.C., with More Closed-Loop Transit Cards Expected This Year in U.S.

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple added support for its latest closed-loop transit card for Apple Pay, enabling customers of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, or WMATA, to tap their NFC-enabled iPhones and Apple Watches to pay for rides with WMATA’s SmarTrip virtual card.

Insight: Apple’s Long Game Pays Off, Conquering Resistance to Apple Pay from Banks in Europe and Beyond

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – It’s coming up on six years since Apple announced its groundbreaking digital-payments service, Apple Pay. And while consumer adoption remains a work in progress, Apple has had considerable success gaining participation from banks and other issuers in what is now more than 50 countries worldwide.

Transit Agency in Canada Plans to Launch Mobile Ticketing, Citing Covid Fears

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Another transit agency in Canada has announced it will enable mobile ticketing, along with reloadable contactless cards, citing in part the Covid-19 pandemic and the desire to reduce the use of cash, vending machines and customer interaction with agency staff.

Biggest U.S. Supermarket Chain Trials Contactless as Covid-19 Fears Increase Demand for ‘No-Touch Payments’

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The announcement by The Kroger Co., the largest supermarket chain in the U.S., that it has begun trialing contactless payments in a subsidiary indicates that one of the last major holdouts among big U.S. merchants will eventually accept such NFC payments services as Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as contactless bank cards.

Southern California Transit Agency to Sell Tickets Via Google Maps and Google Pay; Others Expected to Follow

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – There’s more evidence that popular trip-planning apps Transit, Moovit and Google Maps are seeking to expand further into mobile ticketin

Insight: Apple Buys Mobile-POS Firm as It Seeks to Expand Acceptance of Contactless Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – In a move seeking to expand the base of merchants that can accept its payments service, Apple Pay, Apple has reportedly acquired Montreal, Canada-based mobile POS company Mobeewave, which could enable small shop owners, restaurants and street vendors, among others, to more easily accept contactless EMV cards and NFC mobile wallets.

Exclusive: Google Tests Mobile Ticketing Initiated in Maps App; Could Lead to Mobility-as-a-Service Offer?

Jul 23 2020

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Three small public transit agencies in the U.S. are quietly testing use of Google Maps and Google Pay to enable customers to first plan then pay for tickets. It’s believed to be the first pilots of its kind for Google, a move that could mean the search giant plans to compete with such popular trip-planning apps as Transit and Moovit, which are starting to enable public transit ticketing and payments, NFC Times reports.

Los Angeles Transit Authority to Support Closed-Loop TAP Card in Both Apple Pay and Google Pay

Jul 17 2020

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, plans to introduce an Android version of its TAP closed-loop fare card, with a virtual TAP card for the Google Pay wallet, a Metro spokesman confirmed to NFC Times.