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NFC news in brief • 18 April 2011

News in brief from the NFC world and beyond: NFC football shirts • EMVCo’s new specs • Contactless business cards • Expo visitors win with NFC • One in five smartphones to have NFC by 2014 • Smartphone users ‘uninterested in location-based services’ • Visa’s Australian NFC trial ends • and more…

SM Caen football shirt

Near Field Caen-mmunication: French football club Caen have taken a novel approach to introducing NFC by putting the technology into club shirts for fans. Caen has already introduced NFC services for fans to buy tickets with their mobile phones — now they will also be able to interact with their shirts from the start of next season.

EMVCo issues new NFC specifications: EMVCo has issued a fresh set of specifications for contactless payment systems. The documents range from architecture and general requirements to contactless communication protocols. The full list can be seen and downloaded here.

Cardolution offers contactless business cards: Austrian firm Cardolution has launched contactless RFID business cards and a plug-and-play USB reader to transfer contact details via NFC. Data is stored in vCard format, so information read from cards with the USB stick or an NFC phone can be imported into applications such as Outlook and Excel.

Expo visitors given chance to win prizes via NFC: Italian firms Infordata and Top Class Promotion introduced an NFC-based ‘touch and win’ game at the recent Promotion Expo in Milan. Visitors were provided with an RFID ‘coin’ which they placed against an NFC mobile phone to see if they had won a Nexus S handset or a travel voucher.

One in five smartphones will have NFC by 2014: Juniper Research says at least one in five smartphones worldwide — about 300 milion — will have NFC capability by 2014. The firm’s NFC Retail Marketing & Mobile Payments report added North America will account for half of those units, followed by Western Europe.

Central Bank to give mobile wallets to all Ecuador citizens: Utiba Americas has won a public bid for a mobile wallet project for the Central Bank of Ecuador. The project will provide all citizens with a mobile wallet for storing, sending and receiving money. While virtually everyone in Ecuador has a mobile phone, the majority do not have access to a bank account.

Indian bank launches mobile wallet service: India’s Corporation Bank has launched a mobile wallet which makes it possible to make purchases in shops using a mobile handset. Under the scheme, called Ypaycash, an account-holder can pay for purchases through a mobile handset — provided the merchant has the system installed.

Majority of smartphone users uninterested in location-based services: A survey from digital marketing agency White Horse suggests smartphone users aren’t really interested in location-based mobile services. The report, Lost in Geolocation: Why Consumers Haven’t Bought It, and How Marketers Can Fix It, says 60% of smartphone users are not using location-based services, and marketers and location-based service providers have more work to do in establishing the value of the services.

Amex and Payfone join to create global checkout service:  American Express and Payfone have announced an alliance to create a new global mobile checkout service. As part of the agreement — which sees Amex take a stake in Payfone —the latter will combine its mobile authorisation and payment services with American Express’ recently launched digital payments platform, Serve.

Visa ends successful NFC Australia trial: Visa has completed a trial of mobile contactless payments in Australia in collaboration with ANZ Banking Group. “ANZ Bank staff were issued specially designed Apple iPhone cases that incorporated NFC technology via the inclusion of a microSD card and antenna within the case,” Vipin Kalra, Visa’s country manager for Australia, said. Visa is evaluating the results of the trial, but initial findings suggest it was successful.

Plus NFC World’s top stories this week…

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