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

Transport for London’s Lucrative Sponsorship Deal with Google Shows Value of ‘Point of Sale’ Real Estate at Fare Gates

NFC TIMES Exclusive insight – Transport for London’s recent deal with Google to put the Google Pay Logo on more than 5,600 contactless gate readers across the large London Underground network is not the first time that the London transit authority has rented out its prime payments real estate to sponsors. Nor is it the only transit agency that has profited from sponsorship deals tied to its contactless EMV transit payments services. 

Amazon Launches Largest Checkout-Free Store; Clerks and POS Terminal Vendors Need Not Worry…Yet

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Ecommerce giant Amazon expanded its no-checkout concept to its first “full-sized” supermarket Tuesday, in its headquarters city of Seattle, enabling shoppers to scan an app upon entering, pull products off of shelves and “just walk out,” with hundreds of cameras and numerous sensors having recorded everywhere the shoppers went in the store and everything they put into their shopping carts. A card on file in the app is charged as the customers leave.

Czech Banks See Growing Use of NFC Wallets with Smartphones and Wearables for Contactless Payments

Feb 18 2020

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Banks in the Czech Republic say they are seeing significant and growing use of NFC-enabled smartphones and wearables, ranging from 6% to nearly 25% of all contactless payments–three banks told NFC Times–although a large majority of consumers continue to tap their contactless cards, not NFC devices, for in-store payments.

Brussels Transit Operator Sees Need for Global Interoperability of Fare Payments; Compares Benefits to Mobile Roaming

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The head of information systems for a major European transit operator says he believes public transit agencies should support interoperable fare payments globally, like mobile network operators offer roaming when their customers travel abroad.

Oyster Card Here to Stay Despite Strong Growth of Contactless Fare Payments in London

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – As more and more transit authorities globally seek to emulate Transport for London’s success in gaining widespread adoption for contactless open-loop fare payments, they should take note that London’s closed-loop Oyster card remains popular, even among visitors to the city.

In-Depth: Tokenization Figures Demonstrate Majority of Mobile Payments Conducted Online

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight –  Recent research and forecasts have confirmed what industry observers already knew: Despite concerted efforts by the Pays wallets to gain widespread use of mobile payments in the U.S. at the physical point of sale, the large majority of mobile payments are conducted online, not by tapping NFC phones or wearables in stores.

Visa and Mastercard Forecast More Growth in Contactless in U.S., Spurred in Part by New York Fare Payments Service

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight - The heads of the two largest payments networks in the U.S., Visa and Mastercard, predict strong growth for contactless payments in the U.S., with Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga noting that 70% of U.S. Mastercard-branded cards in the U.S. are coming up for reissue over the next 12 to 14 months, and most of these cards will be issued with a contactless interface. A large number of Visa-branded cards will be reissued with a contactless interface during that period, as well.

Transport Officials in Sydney See Growing Demand for Contactless Fare Payments but Have No Plans to Retire Closed-Loop Opal

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Transport officials in Australia have released figures on use of contactless payments in Sydney and New South Wales, showing that customers tap their contactless credit and debit cards and NFC devices for an average of 1.5 million transactions per week, accounting for a relatively small but respectable number of transactions.

Insight: Moovit and Cubic Betting that MaaS Can Help U.S. Transit Agencies Regain Lost Ridership

Jan 24 2020

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – With public transit ridership decreasing in most large U.S. cities over the past five years, transit authorities are more open to becoming part of Mobility-as-a-Service platforms, which could potentially increase ridership for their rail and bus networks while offering customers options for the first and last mile. 

Philadelphia Transit Authority Confirms Plans for Launch of Open-Loop Payments after Delays

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, or SEPTA, in Philadelphia plans to introduce open-loop payments of fares, with a pilot scheduled for around June, a spokesman confirmed to NFC Times. It makes SEPTA part of a small but growing number of U.S. transit agencies that are accepting payments of fares from contactless bank cards and NFC wallets or are planning to do so.

Contactless Payments of Fares Gets Slow Start in Miami, According to Figures

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Take-up of open-loop contactless payment of fares in Miami-Dade County, Fla., has been slow so far, more than four months after transit

Mobility as a Service Continues to Get Rolling with Uber Expanding Service to Second U.S. City

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Mobility as a service is expected to reshape the traditional transport industry, and while it is just getting rolling, the pace is starting to pick up. The latest bit of momentum came this week when global ride-hailing service Uber announced it will enable mass transit riders to buy and redeem tickets from its app in a second U.S. city, Las Vegas.