Motorola Introduces NFC Phone for Enterprises

Motorola’s first commercial NFC phone cannot be bought in any mobile phone shop and isn’t sold by Motorola Mobility, the consumer smartphone maker.

The new MC75A HF mobile computer, from Motorola Solutions, the now separate company catering mainly to enterprises, is designed for corporations and government agencies. The device features "government grade security," a two-way radio and rugged design. The operating system is not the latest Windows Phone 7, but Windows Mobile 6.5. That is in addition to 3.5G mobile communications, GPS and a bar-code scanner.

Motorola Solutions, the new name for U.S.-based Motorola Inc., has sold more than 1 million of the MC70 and MC75A series mobile computers without NFC over the past couple of years. The company released an NFC version, the MC75A HF RFID Contactless mobile computer, last week in Europe for companies and other enterprises to test.

Motorola Mobility, which makes smartphones, TV set-top boxes and other devices for consumers, spun off from the company in January, and has remained quiet about any plans to incorporate NFC into its smartphones, including the popular Droid.

Motorola Solutions decided to add NFC functionality to the MC75A for enterprises that want to support transit ticketing, RFID tag reading, couponing and even debit or credit payment. The NFC chip supports all the major transit protocols, including Mifare, FeliCa and Calypso, said Motorola.

"Yes, in some transport and logistic (environments) you need NFC and RFID," a Motorola Solutions spokeswoman told NFC Times. She added that the phone is not ready out-of-the-box for payment and would have to add a "module." It’s unclear whether that refers to software or hardware. But The NFC chip likely has an embedded secure element.

One NFC industry observer, however, was unimpressed, noting that a new NFC phone for enterprises, especially an expensive one like the MC75A HF RFID Contactless, will do little to energize the NFC ecosystem, which is largely focused on the consumer market.

"It’s basically a souped-up PDA with a cellular modem," the observer told NFC Times.

HEADLINE NEWS

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.

Planned Account-Based Ticketing Project Remains on Track in Queensland; Expected to Give Customers More Ways to Pay

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The new account-based ticketing system under development for the Australian state of Queensland remains on track and on budget to be fully rolled out by 2022, despite the challenges of working through the Covid-19 pandemic, Martin Bradshaw, project head and general manager for passenger transport strategy and technology for transit agency TransLink, told NFC Times through a spokesman.

Insight: Taiwan’s Dominant Fare-Collection Service Struggles to Stay Competitive in Changing E-Payments Landscape

NFC TIMES Exclusive – EasyCard Corp. remains the dominant contactless stored-value card in Taiwan, boasting of market shares above 70% in transit fare payments and retail transactions nationally amid competition from three other contactless closed-loop cards that vie for transit and low-value retail transactions across the island nation.

In-Depth: California Transport Group Launches Mobile Ticketing, Plans MaaS Rollout

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Officials in California’s Central Valley have launched an app that enables users to buy mobile tickets for bus and rail rides with seven mostly small public transit agencies, with plans to expand to ticketing for electronic car and bike sharing, along with on-demand ride-sharing and van-pool services.

UPDATED: Google Pay Launches with Fintechs in 10 New Countries, as Search Giant Unveils Revamped App; Deeper Move into Financial Services in U.S.

Nov 19 2020

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Google Pay has added its first new countries in 18 months, all of them in continental Europe and all counting digital banks and other fintechs as the vast majority of the issuers across the 10 new markets.

Transport for London Prepares for Major Fare-Collection System Contract

Nov 18 2020

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Transport for London, which runs the largest open-loop fare payments system globally, has issued a notice that it is preparing to seek proposals for a major upgrade of its revenue-collection system.

Visa and Mastercard See Continued Growth in Contactless Usage

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Both Visa and Mastercard say contactless transactions made up a growing share of all face-to-face transactions for cards and other credentials bearing their brands during the last fiscal quarter, crediting in part an increasing aversion to cash by consumers because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Contactless usage rates, however, had been increasing by nearly the same rates before the pandemic.

Apple Pay Enables Ventra Closed-Loop Fare Card in Chicago after Long Delay

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple has finally made good on plans to enable fare payments through Apple Pay with the closed-loop Ventra card from the Chicago Transit Authority, or CTA, the latest major closed-loop card the tech giant has enabled in recent months.

Visa Rolls Out SoftPOS technology as It Seeks to Promote Acceptance of Contactless by More Small and Micro-Merchants

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight -  Visa is rolling out what it calls “Tap to Phone” technology to 15 global markets, as it seeks to enable millions of small and micro-merchants that now mainly take cash to also accept contactless EMV credit and debit cards and credentials on NFC devices.

Trip-Planning Apps Moovit and Transit Enable Ticketing and Payments for Another Transit Agency

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Multimodal trip-planning apps Moovit and Transit have introduced ticketing and payments in their apps for another North American transit agency, following an emerging trend for trip-planning apps to enable users to plan, book and pay for their rides all in one place. The app providers are offering the extra service as they seek ways to give users a better mobility-as-a-service experience.

Australia’s Commonwealth Bank Seeks to Expand Involvement in Public Transit and Other Mobility Payments Projects

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the acquirer and processor for the open-loop payments service rolled out by Transport for New South Wales in Sydney, says it is negotiating with transit officials in other Australian states to help launch similar payments services. It also hopes to be involved in payments for mobility-as-a-service platforms.