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Archive: News in brief

New Pebble could offer NFC strap

March 4th, 2015

Watch maker Pebble has smashed through a US$500,000 crowdfunding target, raising nearly $16m in a matter of days to produce its new Pebble Time smart watch with a colour display. The device will connect to Smart Straps, interchangeable wristbands that can contain electronics and sensors that interface directly with apps running on the watch. “Now everything is possible — GPS, heart rate monitor, NFC, battery extension, you name it!” says the company.

Qkr! payments at Wagamama

March 4th, 2015

Diners at UK restaurant chain Wagamama can now pay for their meals at their tables using MasterCard’s Qkr! app with MasterPass. The QR-based payment system was first seen in a trial in Australia in 2012, and the app is available to download from the App Store or Google Play.

Madrid tests NFC ticketing on public transport

March 4th, 2015

Travellers in Spain’s capital will be able to use their NFC phones to pass through ticket barriers as Madrid’s public transport system tests NFC ticketing. The SIM-based NFC trial will see owners of Samsung Galaxy phones with Telefonica SIMs being able to register payment cards and buy tickets direct from their handsets. Madrid ran an NFC bus ticketing trial with BankInter in 2010.

Google confirms Android Pay at MWC

March 2nd, 2015

Google is building a framework for mobile payments in Android, a senior executive has revealed at Mobile World Congress. Android Pay will be an API layer that supports NFC and biometrics and will allow developers to incorporate payments, both in-store and in-app, into their applications, SVP Sundar Pichai told delegates in Barcelona. Android Pay is expected to launch at Google’s I/O conference in May 2015.

Apple Watch to replace car keys

March 2nd, 2015

Apple is planning to supplant car keys with Apple Watch functionality, CEO Tim Cook has revealed in an interview with the The Telegraph. “The watch is designed to be able to replace car keys and the clumsy, large fobs that are now used by many vehicles,” reports the UK newspaper.

Samsung Pay’s success in the US is not assured, says expert

March 2nd, 2015

Google’s recent acquisition of Softcard’s NFC payments business may hit Samsung Pay’s prospects for widespread US adoption hard, says a respected payments consultant. Commenting on Samsung Pay’s launch, Tom Noyes is enthusiastic about the system’s mechanism for wider merchant acceptance but, he writes, “even if it were ready today it will never be pre-loaded on ANY phone in the US given the recent Google/Softcard deal with all three major US MNOs.”

Mobile money users grow 41% in 2014

March 2nd, 2015

Active mobile money accounts worldwide grew 41% to more than 100 million in 2014, a report from the GSMA’s Mobile Money for the Unbanked programme has found. State of the Industry 2014: Mobile Financial Services for the Unbanked also reports that mobile money services are now available in 61% of developing markets — 84 out of 139 — with 255 services running in 89 countries worldwide. “Mobile is a key enabling tool for financial inclusion and over the last year we’ve seen significant growth in mobile financial services,” says GSMA chief regulatory officer Tom Phillips.

Oberthur’s Pearl SE embedded in Galaxy S6

March 2nd, 2015

Samsung’s new flagship handsets, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, include an embedded secure element (eSE) from Oberthur Technologies. The Pearl eSE is a multi-application NFC secure element that is certified by Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Incorporating the chip allows easy MNO-independent deployment of secure contactless payment, strong authentication, transit, access and loyalty applications.

Niemann Foods rolls out beacon marketing

March 2nd, 2015

Niemann Foods has installed a Bluetooth beacon marketing platform provided by Birdzi in eight of its County Market stores and plans to roll out the solution to all its 45 County Market locations in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri in the coming months. Grocery retailer Woodman’s Foods is also rolling out the platform across its 15 stores following a successful pilot in one location in 2014.

Bank of England ponders own digital currency

February 27th, 2015

The Bank of England is consulting external experts on research designed to help set future policy which includes considering the effects of issuing its own Bitcoin-like digital currency. The One Bank Research Agenda discussion document, which aims to transform the way research is done at the bank, explains that the rise of digital currencies “has potentially profound implications for a financial system whose payments mechanism depends on bank deposits that need to be created through credit,” and goes on to ask what the impact on existing payment and settlement systems would be should it introduce its own digital currency in future.

Fibank to launch HCE mobile payments

February 27th, 2015

Bulgaria’s First Investment Bank is joining forces with MeaWallet to provide the bank’s customers with a mobile payments service which uses cloud-based security and host card emulation (HCE) technology. The service will work at all outlets that accept MasterCard PayPass and Visa PayWave payments and is due to launch later this year.

LG smart watch to offer NFC payments

February 27th, 2015

An LTE-equipped variant of LG‘s new luxury smart watch will offer NFC mobile payment functionality, reports Engadget. The Watch Urbane LTE can also make phone calls and features a bevy of sensors including a gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, atmospheric pressure, heartbeat, and GPS. The watch is due to be unveiled at Mobile World Congress.

Barclays to allow Twitter payments

February 27th, 2015

Barclays will be the first British bank to allow people to send payments using just the recipient’s Twitter username. The free service will launch on March 10 for users of the social network and the bank’s Pingit mobile payment app. “Adding the ability to pay people or a small business using just a Twitter handle brings together a social and digital experience to create a new step forward for mobile payments in the UK,” said Darren Foulds, director of Barclays Mobile Banking and Pingit.

Morgan Stanley joins Apple Pay

February 27th, 2015

Morgan Stanley customers in the US can now add their debit cards to Apple Pay. Ninety banks now offer the NFC mobile payment service. “Offering our wealth management clients the opportunity to use Apple Pay complements our full suite of cash management solutions,” said Eric Heaton, head of Morgan Stanley’s private banking group.

Neiman Marcus rolls out QR payments

February 26th, 2015

Luxury fashion retailer Neiman Marcus has launched a mobile wallet in partnership with Capital One to let its customers make in-store payments using their mobile phone and a preloaded credit card. “Customers can simply open the NM Mobile Wallet and generate a QR code with a click of a button,” the retailer says. “All Neiman Marcus Group stores, including Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Last Call, are equipped with the technology to use the NM Mobile Wallet for in-store purchases.”

Australia to get Visa tokens in 2015

February 24th, 2015

Australia is to become the second country after the US in which Visa Inc will roll out tokenization. The move follows news that three in five (60.4%) face-to-face Visa transactions in Australia are now contactless — compared to 14% in Canada and 21% in Singapore — and 53% of consumers are now interested in mobile payments. “2015 is posed to be the tipping point for mobile payments,” says Visa’s Stephen Karpin.

500 sign up to learn about testing cloud payments

February 23rd, 2015

More than 500 people have registered to attend tomorrow’s NFC World webinar on testing cloud-based mobile payments, when technical expert Gerd Thys from Clear2Pay will explain why and how you should be testing your offering before going to market. “Testing Mobile Payments: HCE and Tokenization” will be broadcast live at 15:00 GMT on Tuesday 24 February, and you can sign up to attend here.

Consultant: Apple Pay fraud “rampant”

February 23rd, 2015

Apple Pay fraud levels are now “rampant” with every Apple Pay (AP) issuer having seen “significant” provisioning fraud, payments consultant Cherian Abraham claims in a detailed blog post. The fraud levels being experienced “came as a surprise to all”, he writes. “Tokenization, on-device secure storage and biometrics separately and together are formidable, but the soft underbelly proved to be provisioning of cards into AP.”

White paper identifies clear consumer preference for NFC

February 23rd, 2015

NFC Technology: How Changing Consumer Preferences Create New Opportunities For Retailers, a 26-page white paper that presents the results of a Strategy Analytics and NFC Forum study into US consumer attitudes to NFC, QR codes and Bluetooth beacons in retail, is now available to download from the NFC World+ Knowledge Centre. “In five of six use cases identified, more than twice as many consumers preferred NFC to the leading alternative,” the survey found.

Google renews wallet discussions with carriers

February 23rd, 2015

Google is in a new round of discussions with mobile network operators to get its Google Wallet payments service widely distributed on mobile devices, the Wall Street Journal reports, with incentives on offer believed to include paying carriers to feature Google Wallet prominently on their Android phones and, potentially, a share of advertising revenues. Google first discussed collaborating on Google Wallet with carriers around the world in 2012. Its renewed interest is believed to be driven by a need to compete with both Apple Pay and a widely anticipated Samsung Pay service.

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