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Archive: News in brief

MasterCard partners with Masabi

January 15th, 2015

MasterCard has announced a global partnership that will combine its payment technology with Masabi’s JustRide mobile ticketing platform. “The first city to benefit from this alliance will be Athens, where passengers of the Greek capital’s transit systems are now able to use an innovative mobile solution to pay their fare,” MasterCard says. Masabi is active in a number of cities including New York, London and San Diego.

Spain pilots contactless ID cards

January 15th, 2015

The Government of Spain is piloting a contactless ID card in Lleida that can be read using an NFC device. The card will be used initially for authorisation services such as collecting packages by mail or courier, for schools to authorise child excursions or to collect medication from pharmacies. The DNIe 3.0 card is expected to be progressively rolled out across the country.

Alibaba to buy Paytm?

January 15th, 2015

Alibaba is in advanced talks to buy an approximately US$500 million stake in One97 Communications, the parent company of Indian mobile payment platform Paytm. “Both Alibaba Group Holding’s e-commerce arm and its online payments unit Alipay are set to participate in the transaction, which will conclude later this month,” the Financial Times reports. When NFC World+ contacted Alibaba for information the e-commerce giant said it has “no comment to offer on this matter”.

Shazam adds support for Bluetooth beacons

January 15th, 2015

Music recognition app Shazam has partnered with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) specialist Gimbal to add support for Bluetooth beacons to its platform. The move “represents a further evolution in the way consumers are looking to Shazam to magically connect them with the world around them”, Shazam says, and will “expand opportunities for brands, advertisers and media owners to offer a more personalised experience” to its more than 100 million monthly active users.

Edenred pilots NFC payments

January 15th, 2015

Meal voucher provider Edenred France is piloting NFC payments with Orange and MasterCard to let users pay for meals with their smartphones in restaurants affiliated to Ticket Restaurant and equipped with a contactless terminal. “We will make this new service available to our clients as soon as possible in view of the progress that mobile payments are making in France,” says Edenred’s Laurent Delmas.

Glasgow to get NFC bus shelters

January 14th, 2015

Glasgow City Council-owned bus shelters around the Scottish city will be fitted with NFC tags and QR codes to allow people to engage with advertisers by accessing interactive content such as vouchers, games and videos using their smartphones. The platform will be rolled out by out-of-home media owner Clear Channel.

Starbucks takes payments app to Germany and France

January 13th, 2015

Coffee giant Starbucks has launched its mobile payment app in Germany and France to allow its customers to make payments using a mobile version of their Starbucks card. “It is the same app which operates in the US and UK,” Starbucks told NFC World+. “The app works in the same way globally.”

Verifone and Samsung to offer Android mPOS

January 13th, 2015

Verifone and Samsung have announced a global partnership to deliver Android-based mobile point of sale (mPOS) solutions to multi-lane and enterprise retailers. The initial offering is due to be introduced later this year and will include a Samsung Galaxy Tab Active tablet and support for EMV, NFC, beacon and magnetic stripe payments.

Apple Pay set to go live in Canada?

January 12th, 2015

Apple Pay could be available in Canada within the next two months and the company is already in talks with partners to launch the mobile payment service in the country,  9to5mac reports. “Apple and Canadian launch partners are in the process of planning advertising and other promotional material for March, which indicates that the launch could come as soon as then.”

Line Pay launches in-app taxi service in Tokyo

January 9th, 2015

Japanese instant messaging giant Line has launched a taxi service in Tokyo that lets users of its app summon a cab provided by Nihon Kotsu, the largest taxi limousine rental company in the country, and pay for it using Line Pay. Line Pay was unveiled in October 2014 as a mobile payment solution for in-store, online and bill-splitting and was launched in December.

Nedbank tests BLE mobile payments app

January 9th, 2015

South Africa’s Nedbank is internally testing a proof-of-concept mobile payments app called Accolades that uses BLE beacons to connect customers to retailers as they enter the store. “In concept, the app would provide the product list or menu of the participating store, letting customers select the product and quantity and check it out in their mobile shopping cart without queues,” BusinessTech reports.

Audi unlocks car with NFC smartwatch

January 8th, 2015

Audi has shown off a smartwatch that can be used to communicate with and unlock a car via NFC at the CES in Las Vegas. The watch is made by LG, says Android Central, and was introduced at a launch event as a means of unlocking the car-maker’s A7-based, ‘piloted driving’ Prologue concept car.

Toshiba puts NFC on memory cards

January 8th, 2015

Toshiba has added NFC to a SDHC memory card, allowing consumers to check the card’s contents by tapping it against their NFC phone instead of plugging it into a PC or digital camera. An Android app allows users to see previews of images stored on the card as well as the amount of free space available. The card will be available in 8, 16 and 32GB versions from February 2015.

Kontakt.io puts on $1m beacon hunt at CES

January 7th, 2015

Beacon solution provider Kontakt.io is hosting a Bluetooth-based treasure hunt with a million dollar prize at the CES in Las Vegas. Show visitors can download the $1m Beacon Hunt app and look for Bluetooth beacons hidden throughout the North, Center and South halls. “Anyone can download the app from the Android or iOS app stores, and can check out the 24 hints to get 24 chances to win the big prize,” the company explains.

Circle adds NFC to Bitcoin payments app

January 7th, 2015

Bitcoin wallet provider Circle has added NFC to its Android app to enable users to make payments using the digital currency with a tap of their smartphone. “Using this NFC integration, Circle customers can tap to pay when checking out with the app at physical locations where Bitcoin is accepted,” the company explains. “Since our friends at BitPay have also enabled NFC, thousands of merchant locations worldwide will support this feature.”

Broadcom unveils NFC chip for cars

January 6th, 2015

Broadcom has introduced an automotive-grade NFC controller designed to be built into vehicles to simplify set-up for mobile device connectivity and enable solutions such as keyless entry. The BCM89095 meets the special requirements of the automotive industry, which include extreme temperature tolerance and multiple sets of international manufacturing guidelines. The low-power chip supports reader/writer, P2P and card emulation modes.

US mall operator tests BLE beacons

January 6th, 2015

US mall operator Taubman is piloting BLE beacons for an indoor navigation service at its Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota, Florida, with plans to roll out the platform to other properties throughout the year. The platform is powered by Spreo and works in conjunction with a The Mall at UTC mobile app. Taubman owns, manages and leases 21 regional, super-regional and outlet shopping centres in the US and Asia.

CES gets BLE beacons

January 5th, 2015

Visitors at this year’s International CES in Las Vegas will be guided around the mammoth tradeshow with their smartphones and Bluetooth beacons provided by Radius Networks. “Through the CES app, users can select a CES destination such as an exhibitor booth,” the organisers explain. “The app will then show directions from the current position using the BLE beacons placed throughout the show floor.” The navigation system covers an area estimated at four million square feet.

Apple Pay accounts for 1% of US digital spend in November

January 5th, 2015

Apple Pay accounted for 1% of all US digital spend in November 2014 just a month after its launch, research from ITG has revealed. The top five Apple Pay retailers included Whole Foods Market with 20% of all transactions made using Apple Pay, Walgreens (19%), McDonald’s (11%), Panera Bread (6%) and Subway (3%).

UK banks cautious in Apple Pay talks

January 5th, 2015

Britain’s top banks are in talks with Apple to introduce Apple Pay in the first half of this year, but negotiations have proved difficult due to concerns around the amount of personal and financial information Apple can collect about its customers. “Some executives fear Apple Pay and the data it delivers to Apple could serve as a beachhead for an invasion of the banking industry,” The Telegraph reports.

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