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Archive: News in brief

Tamagotchi 4U to come with NFC

July 10th, 2014

Japanese toy maker Bandai is to include NFC in the next version of its Tamagotchi electronic pets, enabling owners to tap their device on ‘Touch Spots’ and against other Tamagotchis and smartphones to exchange items and play games. Tamagotchi 4U will be released in September and Bandai expects to sell one million units by the end of March 2015.

Diebold and Wincor Nixdorf form ATM security alliance

July 9th, 2014

ATM manufacturers Diebold and Wincor Nixdorf have partnered to found an association aimed at working to improve cash machine security. The ATM Security Association aims to compile information on recognised and potential attack scenarios, and share it with specific industry groups to rapidly deploy and implement counter-measures at a global level. Participation is open to institutional operators, global ATM manufacturers and their suppliers.

Robin raises funds for BLE in the office

July 9th, 2014

Boston startup Robin has closed a US$1.4m seed funding round to expand and develop a solution that uses iBeacons and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to let workers interact with the office space around them. Using the beacons, the Robin mobile app and the company’s dashboard, users can control the workplace and automate tasks such as room booking, heating and lighting control, and locating coworkers.

Taiwanese banks to set up their own NFC TSM

July 8th, 2014

Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission has approved a plan to establish a TSM platform that the country’s financial institutions will be able to use to introduce mobile payments services, Want China Times reports. Financial Information Service Co, the National Credit Card Center of ROC and the Taiwan Clearing House will jointly create the platform. The partners aim to have the TSM service up and running in December 2014.

Indonesia to get NFC payments

July 8th, 2014

Indonesian mobile network operator Telkomsel is to launch an NFC mobile payment service in October this year, in partnership with a bank, according to Indonesian Business Daily. Telkomsel currently has 2.5 million customers equipped with an NFC-enabled device.

Restaurant inspectors add QR info

July 8th, 2014

New inspection placards that include QR codes are to be issued by the US city of Pasadena’s Public Health Department for display in restaurants and other food outlets. The placards enable diners to use their smartphone to access the establishment’s database record on the city’s website to view detailed information on its cleanliness rating and other scores.

Estonia to get Worapay mobile payments

July 8th, 2014

Lithuania-based mobile payments provider Worapay is set to go live in Estonia this month with partner and local businessman Rando Parna, who has acquired a license to operate the technology. Parna plans to invest up to €100,000 to push the product and will develop a network of merchants in the country. Worapay also plans to launch in Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Finland and Spain.

Moven raises $8m series A

July 7th, 2014

Mobile banking, payments and budgeting startup Moven has raised US$8m in a series A funding round and will use the money to invest in new features and tools and to build its international network of partners. “We believe that in short order millions of customers will be using our app each day to help them spend, save and live smarter,” says CEO Brett King.

Bankia offers NFC stickers

July 7th, 2014

Spanish bank Bankia has launched a mobile payments service that uses NFC stickers attached to the back of a customer’s smartphone to make purchases at any contactless POS terminal. Consumers need to download the Bankia Mobile Wallet app to use the service. Stickers can be requested via Bankia’s website or any bank branch.

Microsoft joins IoT alliance

July 7th, 2014

Microsoft has joined the AllSeen Alliance, an association formed in December 2013 with the aim of creating a set of open standards for the Internet of Things (IoT). The alliance now has 51 members including Haier, LG Electronics, Qualcomm, Panasonic, Sharp, Silicon Image and TP-Link.

SnapUp creates mobile shopping lists

July 7th, 2014

A new iOS app lets users bookmark and track items for sale on mobile websites and in apps by simply taking a screenshot of any item of interest they spot. SnapUp then turns the snaps into watch lists that are continuously updated with the latest prices, letting users know when an item goes on sale.

Seqr signs up new partners

July 4th, 2014

Seamless has signed up US-based prepaid card provider InComm and the Belgian arm of POS terminal provider Ingenico as partners for its Seqr mobile payment solution. InComm offers stored value cards from more than 500 brands and will enable Seqr-accepting stores to digitize their gift cards. Ingenico Payment Services will enable its more than 160,000 merchants in Belgium to offer Seqr mobile payments to their customers.

Orange’s NFC transit ticketing goes live in Valencia

July 3rd, 2014

Mobile network operator Orange has formally launched its NFC transit ticketing service in the Spanish city of Valencia. To use the service, passengers download the Mobilis app and link a payment card. The launch follows pilot phases that have been underway in Malaga since February 2012. The service will soon be expanded to the nearby city of Alicante.

Alipay tests virtual credit card

July 3rd, 2014

Chinese online payments giant Alipay is testing a mobile app based virtual credit card service called Xinren Bao that features customised credit limits based on a user’s shopping history and a 38-day interest-free period on all purchases, Marbridge Consulting reports. Xinren Bao is currently in closed beta testing and Alipay has declined to provide confirmation or details to NFC World+ at this time.

Yapital tests fingerprint payments

July 3rd, 2014

Retailer-owned mobile payments provider Yapital is testing the use of fingerprint biometrics to replace PIN entry when paying by smartphone. “As the major smartphone manufacturers are now integrating fingerprint scanning into their products, we have immediately launched appropriate tests,” says Yapital’s Oliver Kress. The company already supports payments via NFC, QR and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

NFC wallet seeks funds

July 2nd, 2014

A Silicon Valley startup is seeking crowdfunding to put a minimalist wallet with two integrated NFC tags into production. LionNFC’s Asset credit-card sized wallet is made from two sheets of anodised aluminium held together with an elastic strap, with a programmable NFC tag that can be used to initiate actions on the user’s phone embedded in each face.

Samsung adds Galaxy S5 Mini

July 2nd, 2014

Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy S5 Mini, a compact version of their latest flagship smartphone. LTE models come with NFC, and the device also features Bluetooth 4.0 BLE connectivity as well a fingerprint sensor to provide users with extra security and the ability to verify PayPal payments using their finger. The Galaxy S5 Mini will be available in Russia this month and is expected to roll out globally.

Twitter tests ‘buy now’ button

July 1st, 2014

A ‘buy now’ button has been seen on Twitter, leading to speculation the social media giant is trialling a new ‘in-tweet’ ecommerce service, Re/code says. Reports suggest pressing the button, spotted fleetingly in the mobile app this week and embedded in tweets from shopping app Fancy, led to a checkout page.

Android L offers one tap WiFi access

July 1st, 2014

Android L will offer an easier way for users to share their WiFi passwords, Android Police reports. Network owners will be able to access a ‘write to NFC tag’ option from within the WiFi settings menu. Visitors will then just need to tap the tag with an NFC phone to log on to the network.

HotelTonight to offer NFC keys

June 27th, 2014

HotelTonight is to upgrade its Android app to enable customers to unlock their rooms via NFC, where a hotel supports the technology. The on-demand mobile booking service is using Brivo Labs’ Sam API to provide the service.

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