Latest News

In-Depth: Major Pays Wallets Accelerate Support for Closed-Loop Transit Ticketing

NFC TIMES Exclusive – One of the key battlegrounds for Apple, Google and Samsung as they seek more users for their respective Pays wallets is transit ticketing–with all three tech giants targeting both open-loop payments and–perhaps surprisingly–also closed-loop transit cards. (See table below).

Report: Will Deployment of Contactless EMV Cards in U.S. Drive Growth of NFC Mobile Payments? Conclusions Hard to Draw

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – With U.S. banks finally beginning to issue dual-interface EMV cards in significant numbers this year and more U.S. merchants accepting contactless and NFC payments, a key question becomes whether contactless card payment will help or hurt the prospects for what has generally been considered as disappointing take-up of NFC wallets.

Half of Face-to-Face Visa Transactions Outside of U.S. Expected to be Contactless Soon

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Half of all domestic face-to-face transactions with Visa-branded cards globally–outside of the U.S.–are expected to be contactless within the next two months, with Visa reporting that contactless technology is maturing in numerous countries worldwide, mainly in Europe and Asia.

Analysis: Canadians Increasingly Pay with Contactless Cards, Although Cash Continues to Play Key Role

Apr 22 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Contactless transactions in Canada topped 50% of all in-store card transactions for the first time ever during the first quarter of this year, said the country’s largest payments card processor, Moneris, this week.

Contactless Card Transactions Could Overtake Taps from NFC Phones ‘Quickly’ in the U.S.: Industry Veteran

Apr 23 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Transactions from contactless bank cards in the U.S. will “quickly surpass” those from NFC phones by the end of 2020, despite cards being rolled out much later than NFC-enabled wallets, industry veteran Randy Vanderhoof, head of the Secure Technology Alliance industry trade group and the affiliated U.S. Payments Forum, told NFC Times.

Samsung's Deal with Taiwan’s EasyCard is Latest in Global Push by Pays Wallets to Support Transit Payments

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Samsung Pay is the first of the major NFC Pays wallets to announce it is working with Taiwan’s large closed-loop transit and retail payments service EasyCard, as it seeks to differentiate itself in a crowded and fast-growing mobile-payments market on the island nation.

In-Depth: Garmin Pay Provisioning Company Fit Pay Hopes to Build on Early Lead with Spin-Off, but Larger Competitors are Gearing Up

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – U.S.-based Nxt-ID disclosed late Thursday that the spin-off of its payments unit, Fit Pay, which provides bank card provisioning for Garmin Pay, would again be delayed, as it waits another couple of weeks for the closing of a nearly $17 million loan it needs to move forward with the new company.

In-Depth: Australia’s No. 2 City Shuns Open-Loop Transit Payments, Sticking with Closed-Loop Mifare for Launch of Mobile Service

Apr 10 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While Australia is the top market worldwide for use of contactless bank cards at retail, any hopes for those same open-loop cards and card credentials on NFC phones being used as part of a nationwide, interoperable transit payments service have been dashed for now. 

Analysis: Apple Announces Breakthrough with Apple Card, but is It Mostly Slick Marketing?

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – With typical style and élan, Apple introduced its new credit card, Apple Card, at a product launch event this week, one of several new services the tech giant is counting on to provide growth as its iPhone sales slip.

In-Depth: Nxt-ID Gets Much-Needed Financing, Clearing Way to Spin Off Its Payments Wearables Provisioning Unit Fit Pay

Apr 5 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – U.S.-based Nxt-ID, whose Fit Pay unit provides payment card provisioning for Garmin Pay, has announced a closing date for a $16.5 million loan it will use for working capital and to refinance an existing loan.

Australia’s Commonwealth Bank Sees Jump in Mobile Transactions with Apple Pay, Though Still Small Share of Total Card Use

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Commonwealth Bank of Australia, one of Australia’s largest banks, has said its mobile wallet transactions have increased by nearly three times in the two months since introducing Apple Pay, according to a report, though the bank declines to release any actual transaction figures, and mobile transactions still are believed to make up a very small percentage of total transactions.

In-Depth: Singapore Prepares to Launch Acceptance of Open-Loop Transit Payments Following Lengthy Trial

NFC TIMES Exclusive InsightWhen it launches its SimplyGo service April 4, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority will become the first major transit authority in Asia outside of China to launch acceptance of open-loop payments of fares.

Analysis: NFC Forum’s New Money Transfer Spec Likely Too Little, Too Late to Reverse QR Growth Trends

NFC TIMES Exclusive – As QR code-based mobile payments continue to threaten take-up of NFC technology, especially in Asia, the NFC Forum industry trade group is taking action.

Developer of Visa Transit SAM Says Technology Could Help Turn Closed-Loop Ticketing System into EMV Payments Service

Mar 14 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive – The developer of Visa’s new transit secure-access module, or SAM, said the technology could potentially help turn even a low-end, closed-loop transit-ticketing system, such as Mifare Classic, into an EMV-enabled payments system–although that could still require transit operators to install new acceptance terminals, and they would still need to set up a back-end system to support it.

Swedish Watchmaker Latest Passive Wearables Maker with Plans to Enable Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Small Swedish analog watchmaker TRIWA next week plans to launch payments wearables enabled for tokenized Mastercard-branded cards issued by Swedish banking group SEB, with provisioning company Fidesmo telling NFC Times there will be more watch brands to come enabling payments.

Analysis: Apple’s Planned Credit Card with Goldman Sachs Unlikely to Significantly Boost Apple Pay

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While Apple’s deal with Goldman Sachs to jointly roll out a new credit card this year integrated with Apple Pay and Apple’s devices made headlines Thursday, it was neither the first news of this partnership nor the first deal of its kind for Apple.

Sony Launches Smart Strap in Europe Supporting NFC Payments; High-End Device Costs as Much as Latest Apple Watch

Feb 16 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Sony has introduced its NFC-enabled smart watch strap, Wena, to the UK and Ireland, which will allow users to turn their analog watches into hybrid smartwatches and tap the straps to pay with tokenized EMV-compliant cards loaded into the devices from wallet apps.

Open-Loop Payments to Launch on London’s Airport Train Service with Calls for Further Expansion

Feb 15 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – ­The Heathrow Express airport line serving London will begin accepting contactless open-loop payments along with closed-loop Oyster cards next week–more than six years after commuters first could pay by tapping their bank cards and NFC phones to ride on buses on the separate Transport for London system.

In-Depth: More U.S. Issuers to Join Contactless Card Rollout; Adoption Expected to Surpass NFC Wallets

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – There is more evidence that U.S. banks will be moving a substantial portion of their card base to contactless over the next few years, as they reissue their basic EMV cards with a contactless interface, giving American consumers more opportunities to tap to pay than ever before.

USA Technologies Feels Wrath of Investors After Admitting Financial Irregularities and Audit Firm Quits

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – USA Technologies, or USAT, which has been the largest enabler of card and contactless payments on vending machines in the U.S., saw half its market cap wiped yesterday, after its independent audit firm, RSM US, resigned, saying it could no longer rely on USAT’s representations in connection with the 2017 audit of the company.

In-Depth: Payments Wearables Market Enters New Phase as Passive Devices Get Tokenized Bank Cards

Feb 22 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive – With the announcement this month by large analog watchmaker Swatch of the expansion of its digital payments service SwatchPAY! to Europe, the payments wearables market could see a considerable change.

Provisioning Tokens to Swatch Watches in the Store: How SwatchPAY! Works

Jun 30 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Switzerland-based watchmaker Swatch plans to roll out its SwatchPAY! contactless payments service to a number of European countries and then perhaps globally, representing budding competition to Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay. But unlike these three smartwatch-enabled Pays services and others, SwatchPAY! uses low-cost analog watches as its payments devices.

Cook Discloses Apple Pay Transactions Showing That Growth Continues, Albeit Somewhat More Slowly Than Before

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple Tuesday reported that its digital payments service recorded more than 1.8 billion transactions globally in the tech giant’s fiscal first quarter ending in December, more than double compared with the same quarter a year earlier–though transaction growth is slowing and transactions still represent a small percentage of total card transactions.

Garmin Pay Welcomes Support from Third U.S. Network but More Competition on Horizon

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Garmin Pay added a third network to its smartwatch payments service in the U.S. this week, enabling Discover Financial Services-branded cards to be loaded onto its NFC-enabled devices, as more acceptance points for NFC payments in the U.S. come online to give consumers additional places to tap to pay.

Another Major Holdout Among Major U.S. Merchants, Target, Agrees to Accept Contactless and NFC Payments

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Acceptance of contactless and NFC payments in the U.S. has lagged behind many other developed markets for years, but that continues to change, with another major merchant–big box retailer and top 10 U.S. chain Target­–announcing Tuesday that it would soon take tap and pay.

Deals

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

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

Cubic Strikes Deal with Google to Enable Closed-Loop Transit Payments in Google Pay

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – In a move that could enable more large transit agencies to offer NFC mobile payments with their closed-loop transit cards, U.S.-based Cubic Transportation Systems has signed an agreement with Google to integrate contactless transit cards with Google Pay. Among the agencies planning to support the service are those serving Google’s home base in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York. 

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.

More Open-Loop Transit Payments Services to Launch in Taiwan

Dec 24 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Taiwan’s airport train service will begin accepting Visa- and Mastercard-branded credit cards starting next month, making it the second mass-transit service on the island nation to support open-loop payments for fares.

Contactless EMV Card Rollout in U.S. to Pick Up Speed in 2020, but Shape of Adoption Remains Unclear

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – With contactless EMV cards expected to have a significant footprint in the U.S. in 2020, the debate continues over whether the rollout will promote or harm take-up of NFC mobile payments and whether contactless open-loop transit payments will make a real impact on use of contactless at the retail point of sale.

In-Depth: China Moving Forward On Face Payments of Transit Fares, Despite Some Hesitation by Users of Technology

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight –  More and more Chinese cities are trialing use of facial recognition technology for transit ticketing, a development that could enable users to avoid either cards or smartphones to pay fares on subways and other modes of transit.

Apple Launches Express Transit in London; Mobility Service also Adds NFC Payments Feature in Apple Wallet

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple has expanded its Express Transit service to another major market, enabling Apple Pay users to pay for fares on Transport for London-run trains and buses without first authenticating themselves on the NFC devices.

Analysis: Outlook Remains Dim for Bank Mobile Wallets as Another Major Bank Plans to Shut Down its Wallet App

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Major Dutch bank ABN Amro will discontinue its NFC-enabled mobile wallet in January, a little more than three years after launching the app in late 2016, with the bank acknowledging that few customers use the service.

Features

Analysis: Apple Chips Away at Fortress Europe with Another Major Bank Planning to Join Apple Pay

By: 
Dan Balaban

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – With Switzerland’s No. 2 bank, Credit Suisse, expected to participate in Apple Pay, the U.S.-based tech giant continues to chip away at resistance among major European banks to joining its digital payments service.

U.S. Football Sees NFC-Enabled E-Tickets as way to Cut Fraud, Market to Fans

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – With the National Football League kicking off its season in a few weeks in the U.S., fans will be using NFC, QR codes and perhaps ultrasonic signals on their mobile devices, in addition to tapping contactless-enabled paper tickets, to attend football games and other events at all 31 NFL stadiums.

In-Depth: As U.S. Lags in Contactless Payments, are Issuers Ready to Roll Out Dual-Interface EMV Cards?

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Most issuers in the U.S. have so far held back from rolling out contactless or dual-interface cards, but merchant acceptance has been quietly building over the past few years, despite some large U.S. retailers balking at accepting contactless cards and NFC-enabled devices.

In-Depth: Can Contactless Cards Succeed in U.S. Where NFC Mobile Wallets Have Failed?

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Payments industry backers suggest that U.S. banks could have an incentive to begin contactless rollouts soon, but in the absence of deadlines from the major payments networks, which are rapidly approaching in other markets, there's no guarantee of rollouts in the U.S. on the horizon.

How Mobile Wallets, Payments Wearables, Tokenization Fared the Past Year, and Where They Stand Now

By: 
Dan Balaban

NFC TIMES Exclusive – As the digital payments ecosystem moves into 2018, it is dealing with many of the same unfulfilled promises, works in progress and unfinished business as in 2017.

U.S. Merchant Apps Square Off Against NFC ‘Pays’ Wallets: The Retailer Perspective

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive – As more U.S. merchants launch their own payments apps, some seem positioned to offer serious competition to Apple Pay and the other NFC “Pays” wallets.

Backers Look to Range of Devices for Contextual Commerce, Though Fragmentation Will Pose Challenges

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Promoters of contextual commerce are looking to a range of connected devices, including smart appliances and such home hubs as Alexa–along with a host of mobile devices–to enable consumers to pay in almost every context. But many challenges remain for what could become a “very disjointed” array of payment options, experts say.

Feature: How Do Mobile Payments Fit into an Omnichannel World?

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – As retailers and payments services providers increasingly try to connect and track consumer transactions across online and in-store channels, mobile payments must function as part of an omnichannel payments ecosystem, say industry observers.

IoT Payments Backers Say Devices Will Range from the Familiar to the Far-Fetched

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – With the buzz around the Internet of Things growing ever stronger, the payments ecosystem is determined not to be left out.

Sound-Based Payments Target Developing Economies but Face Long Road to Consumer Take-Up

By: 
K.N. Smith

NFC TIMES Exclusive – With two sound-based payments launches in India in September, the technology has drawn some interest, but although several banks in emerging countries have signed on with sound-based payments platforms, consumer take-up remains unclear, and it’s likely that the road to adoption will be at least as slow as that faced by NFC payments in developed markets.