News in brief from the NFC world and beyond: Caen bids for NFC • Sprint adds mobile wallet • Vivotech's Dubai deal • Microsoft tags retailers • Mobile payments boost banks • Paying cash keeps you slim • NCR buys into mobile barcodes
CAEN BIDS FOR NFC: The city of Caen, site of some of the world's earliest NFC trials, has put in a bid to the French government to become one of the next NFC cities. The government plans to fund up to five cities to run pilots similar to the Cityzi trial currently running in Nice. The city has also rolled out an NFC and 2D barcode tourist trail, enabling visitors to tap or scan posters to get further information on William the Conqueror and the city's early history as they tour the area.
SPRINT ADDS MOBILE WALLET: The US mobile network operator has introduced a mobile wallet solution, developed by Cardinal Commerce. The Sprint Mobile Wallet will let subscribers make online purchases via their mobile phone using a wide range of payments instruments including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and more. "It's basically a container that allows you to very easily put your own financial instruments into the device and then choose how you want to use them," Sprint's director of open enablement Kevin McGinnis has told FierceMobileContent.
VIVOTECH IN DUBAI DEAL: NFC and contactless specialist Vivotech has signed a deal with Teletech Middle East to supply its Trusted Services Manager (TSM) and Over-The-Air (OTA) provisioning platform and NFC mobile payment wallet software solution. Teletech aims to provide TSM services to both banks and telecoms operators in the United Arab Emirates and has scheduled a trial, using NFC add-ons, for the end of this year.
MICROSOFT TAGS RETAILERS: A number of US retailers including Best Buy and Whole Foods Market are now testing Microsoft's Tag technology. Microsoft's vision is for its colourful barcode-like technology to be used to turn customers mobile phones into their loyalty cards, StorefrontBacktalk reports. "As they browse physical aisles, they can point their phones at these tags and, beyond product information and demos, be shown pricing individualized for them based on their membership level (for a warehouse membership club), the dollar value of historic purchases, particular purchases they have made or their demographics."
MOBILE PAYMENTS BOOST BANKS: 53% of consumers interested in a payment service from their mobile phone would consider changing banks if another bank offered the service, according to new research conducted for Obopay. Nearly 70% said that, if the service allowed them to get paid, send or receive money by mobile phone, it would be an incentive to remain at their banks. 64% would be interested in accepting either personal payments or payments for their businesses from a credit card, debit card, or electronic check from a mobile phone. 58% were interested in a service that would let them send and receive money from family and friends instantly and 61% were more likely to use mobile phone payments if the service was provided by their banks.
PAYING CASH KEEPS YOU SLIM: US scientists have found that consumers who take cash to the shops and leave their cards at home are more likely to leave junk food on the shelves, the Daily Mail reports. "Two factors contribute to this intriguing effect," say the researchers. "First, there is a correlation between unhealthiness and impulsiveness of food items: Unhealthy food items also tend to elicit impulsive responses. Second, cash payments are psychologically more painful than card payments, and this pain of payment can curb the impulsive responses to buy unhealthy food items."
NCR BUYS INTO MOBILE BARCODES: NCR has acquired Mobiqa, provider of SMS, MMS, email and barcode-based mobile tickets, boarding passes and coupons in the travel, entertainment and retail sectors. NCR will establish a global mobile center of excellence in Edinburgh, Scotland focused initially on the travel industry. "We are dedicated to making consumers' experience of interacting with businesses easier by giving them the ability to move seamlessly between self-service mobile, online and kiosk channels," says NCR's John Bruno.