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Archive: News in brief

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.

Swisscom to launch NFC platform

June 25th, 2014

Mobile network operator Swisscom is to launch its Tapit NFC platform in July, Startwerk reports. The platform will support both mobile payments and ID services and is expected to also be used by Swiss carriers Orange and Sunrise.

Air France to test NFC

June 25th, 2014

Air France is to run an NFC pilot at airports in Paris and Toulouse from 2 July, enabling a selected group of customers to download their boarding pass to their NFC phone. Further details will be available when the pilot has been completed, the airline told NFC World+. Air France ran one of the world’s first NFC boarding pass pilots at Nice airport in 2009.

GSMA supports HCE guide

June 23rd, 2014

A guide to host card emulation (HCE) and SIM-based NFC payments options has been produced by Consult Hyperion, in conjunction with GSMA. Each technology offers important benefits for financial institutions, HCE and SIM Secure Element: It’s not Black and White (PDF) concludes. “They should not be viewed as mutually exclusive and a combination of the approaches may be appropriate for differing applications and markets,” it adds.

SimplyTapp offers DIY HCE

June 23rd, 2014

SimplyTapp, the US startup that worked with Google to add support for host card emulation (HCE) to Android, is now offering a self-service platform for card issuers and other mobile app developers looking to pilot HCE solutions. Developers signing up by 29 September will receive a US$5,000 credit to put towards platform usage fees.

Alipay tests NFC ticketing

June 20th, 2014

Alibaba-owned online payments giant Alipay has launched an NFC ticketing service, ECNS reports. The new All Pass service lets NFC phone owners in China use one prepaid account to pay for transit rides in multiple cities, ECNS says, and can currently be used with three Oppo phone models to make payments in 35 cities. Further NFC phones and 25 more cities are to be added by the end of this year.

Tim Hortons adds voice to payments app

June 20th, 2014

Canada-based coffee chain Tim Hortons has opened up its mobile payments service to WP8 phone users. The new app includes a voice recognition feature that lets users launch the mobile barcode payment screen on their TimmyMe app by simply saying “TimmyMe Pay”.

Rio gets 5,000 NFC tags

June 20th, 2014

Five thousand NFC and QR stickers have been placed at bus stops in Rio de Janeiro to provide locals and visitors with up-to-date information on bus routes and times, as well as information on local tourist destinations and points of interest. The Rio Smart City service also offers information on current events, such as the Fifa World Cup, says supplier Connecthings.

Uband takes wearables to university

June 19th, 2014

IdentiCard has introduced a silicone wristband containing a Mifare contactless chip that can be used to replace traditional student access cards on campus. Uband can be used “for dormitory or classroom access, payment at campus dining locations, printer authorization in campus libraries and more,” the company says.

Domino’s adds voice ordering

June 19th, 2014

Domino’s Pizza has integrated Nuance’s Nina Mobile voice recognition technology into its iOS and Android apps, enabling US customers to place orders by simply speaking into their mobile phone. “There will be a day when typing on keyboards or with thumbs on mobile devices will come to a close,” says president and CEO Patrick Doyle.

DeviFi offers NFC and Qi for iOS

June 19th, 2014

DeviceFidelity has introduced a module that can be used by case makers and other accessory providers to add NFC payments and wireless charging functionality to an iOS device. The new Multi-Mode Module supports a SIM-based secure element, the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) and Wireless Power Consortium (Qi) standards and “will be certified for mobile payment by major payment networks — Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover”.

Radius turns Macs into beacons

June 19th, 2014

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) platform provider Radius Networks has introduced QuickBeacon for OS X, a virtual iBeacon solution that can turn any Macintosh computer equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 and running OS X 10.9 or higher into a fully configurable BLE beacon. QuickBeacon is aimed at enterprise, retail point-of-sale and hospitality environments, Radius says.

CIBC expands NFC payments

June 19th, 2014

Customers of Canadian carrier Bell will be able to use CIBC bank’s mobile payment app to make NFC payments “in the coming weeks”. Launched in partnership with mobile network operator Rogers in November 2012, CIBC expanded availability of the service to include customers of carrier Telus in February 2014.

Weve loses CEO

June 19th, 2014

David Sear, CEO of Weve, is to leave the company for a new role that he has already accepted, the mobile commerce joint venture between UK carriers EE, O2 and Vodafone has told NFC World+. “David will continue to lead Weve through the transition, and at this busy and successful time for the company,” the company said. “We have no further details to share at this stage and will be making details of our new CEO public in due course.”

Credit Mutuel-CIC rolls out NFC

June 16th, 2014

French banking group Credit Mutuel-CIC has introduced an NFC payments service that is available to customers regardless of their mobile network operator. The bank is using Airtag’s Airpass white label mobile wallet solution for the SIM-based service. “The strength of the app is the simple installation process and the convenience added to in-store payment transactions,” says Airtag CEO Jérémie Leroyer.

Rewards for HP beacon scavengers

June 13th, 2014

Attendees at this week’s HP Discover 2014 Conference in Las Vegas have been able to earn rewards for visiting all areas of the show by taking part in a mobile scavenger hunt. Those who downloaded the HP Helion Scavenger Hunt mobile app could collect a badge each time they came into range of a Bluetooth beacon and prizes were available for those who collected a full set of badges.

iBeacons go to Cannes

June 13th, 2014

Advertising industry executives attending the annual Cannes Lions festival in France next week will be able to use an iBeacon-powered “Around Me” feature within the event’s official iPhone app to detect nearby attendees and connect with them. The app includes “tight LinkedIn integration” to enable visitors to “see who is around them, read their profile and immediately reach out to them through the app”, supplier Eventbase says.

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