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Archive: News in brief

Starbucks to expand mobile payments

September 5th, 2014

Coffee giant Starbucks is to use its digital payments expertise and online presence to introduce a range of new formats and services, the company says, beginning with the introduction of mobile ordering at its first Express outlet in New York in early 2015. Other opportunities being explored include “at-home coffee purchases”, “expedited merchandise” and “subscriptions for take-home or home delivery.”

Apple cuts deals with card issuers?

September 5th, 2014

Apple will be getting special rates from five US card issuers on mobile payments made by its device users, according to well-connected payments advisor Tom Noyes, and customers will use a combination of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), NFC and Touch ID to make payments in stores. “Apple wanted to launch the payment product with BLE (not NFC) but existing payment networks didn’t want to cause merchant chaos in fragmentation of acceptance infrastructure,” he says.

NFC Business Models report available for free download

September 5th, 2014

NFC Business Models, NFC World’s landmark 2011 research report on strategies for monetising NFC, is now available as a free download in the NFC World+ Knowledge Centre. “This 170-page report continues to provide many lessons that can be applied to advantage by businesses introducing mobile payments and digital wallet services today — and provides unique insight into how and why it has taken so much longer than expected for mobile payments to take off,” says author Sarah Clark.

NYT “confirms” Apple NFC payment plans

September 5th, 2014

A report in The New York Times, which cites several people “with knowledge of the products” including two Apple employees — the first time the company has been mentioned as a source on the new products and services — appears to confirm many of the rumours circulating about Apple’s NFC payment plans. Deals with American Express, MasterCard and Visa will mean that “iPhone owners will be able to use their devices as a sort of digital wallet, improving their ability to pay for items at select partner merchants without handing over cash or a credit card,” the report adds.

Apple iWatch to support NFC payments?

September 4th, 2014

Apple plans to include NFC in a new smartwatch that will be unveiled on 9 September, as well as in the next iPhone, the Wall Street Journal reports, “signaling that it sees a role for the device in digital payments.” NFC “is central to Apple’s plans to offer so-called tap-to-pay into its mobile devices, allowing users to pay for goods and services using credit cards stored with iTunes,” the report adds. (Editor’s tip: Download our Disney MyMagic+ report to get a feel for the kind of experience Apple is likely to be planning here.)

Pepsi NFC case study now available

September 4th, 2014

A case study that details an NFC-based shopper marketing service tested by soft drinks giant Pepsi is now available to download free of charge from the NFC World+ Knowledge Centre. The study, produced by solution provider Rehrig Pacific, explains how the Pepsi Frozen Faceoff promotion worked, the challenges that were overcome and details the results of the campaign.

Isis to rebrand as Softcard

September 3rd, 2014

US NFC mobile payments venture Isis has chosen Softcard as its new name. The move follows a July decision to abandon its original name in response to the growing profile of the Isis militant group. “The inherent simplicity of Softcard gives it the potential to become a category defining name,” CEO Michael Abbott explains in a blog post. “That’s a bold aspiration, but one that matches the breadth of our vision.”

Macy’s launches digital wallet

September 3rd, 2014

Customers of US department store chain Macy’s can now make online payments and save offers that can be redeemed in store with a new digital wallet, WWD reports. Users can link up to 10 payment cards to their My Wallet and “will see Star Passes promotions automatically added to the wallet.”

Nordstrom to partner Apple on payments?

September 3rd, 2014

Upmarket US retailer Nordstrom is in talks to partner with Apple on its new mobile payments service, Bank Innovation reports. “Apple was looking for a clothing brand with a large physical reach to join its to-be-launched payments platform,” a source told the publication.

JD Sports adds BLE beacons

September 2nd, 2014

UK sports fashion chain JD has installed Bluetooth beacons at its new concept store in Manchester’s Trafford Centre, letting customers who have downloaded the JD app “access exclusive store content and shop from the app before paying in-store.” The store also features eight multi-channel kiosks and a social media wall, and staff have been equipped with iPads “to assist with customers’ enquiries.”

Visa licenses transactional ad platform

September 1st, 2014

Visa has acquired a strategic licence for the technology platform developed by transactional advertising pioneer TrialPay. The company’s technology involves “placing relevant offers around transactions, and using transactional data to show relevant offers”. The move follows an investment by Visa in the company three years ago.

Visa adds Checkout partners

September 1st, 2014

Visa has signed agreements with a wide range of new partners that will make its new Visa Checkout service available to more than 4m online merchants across the US. The new partners include “Bank of America Merchant Services, First Data, Tsys, Vantiv, and Wells Fargo Merchant Services, along with ecommerce platform providers including CyberSource, MarketLive, and 3DCart,” Visa says. “Branding Brand, Moovweb, and Skava are already live and integrating merchants today.”

Nintendo 3DS to get NFC

September 1st, 2014

Nintendo will include a built-in NFC chip in the next versions of its 3DS and 3DS XL handheld games consoles, at least in Japan, the company has revealed in its latest 3DS Direct video briefing. The NFC functionality provides “support for Nintendo’s upcoming Amiibo toy line,” CNet reports. Nintendo will also sell an NFC adapter for existing models.

Mapco adds mobile payments at the pump

August 28th, 2014

Customers of US fuel and convenience store chain Mapco can now pay at the pump with their mobile phone at 276 of the retailer’s stores. “Consumers who download the app can now drive up to the nearest Mapco location, open the app, enter how much they want to pay, and checkout using PayPal,” says Brad Brodigan, ‎VP Retail for North America at PayPal, the exclusive payment option offered by the My Mapco app.

CaixaBank invests in contactless ATMs

August 28th, 2014

Spain’s CaixaBank has signed a €500million agreement with Fujitsu for the delivery of a new network of 8,500 ATMs equipped with contactless readers “capable of scanning cards, mobile phones and wearables”. The ATMs also feature dual screens, “one to handle transactions and the other to provide operational and sales support, thus providing a much more pleasant user experience with the terminal”.

Evidence builds for NFC in iPhone 6

August 28th, 2014

Apple’s next iPhone will feature its own payment platform, “sources familiar with the matter” have told Wired. “In fact, that platform will be one of the hallmark features of the device when it is unveiled on September 9. We are told the solution will involve NFC.” Analysis of a leaked logic board by a MacRumours reader, meanwhile, adds weight to previous suggestions that Apple will include NXP’s PN65 NFC chip in the iPhone 6.

Smart Card Alliance offers HCE paper

August 27th, 2014

The Smart Card Alliance has published Host Card Emulation (HCE) 101, a white paper that “takes a deep dive into HCE and NFC opportunities and security considerations”. HCE is “an opportunity for application developers to more easily provide convenient and consumer-friendly NFC applications, but also increases the chances of hackers gaining access to information through malware and/or denial of service attacks,” says executive director Randy Vanderhoof.

Citi launches digital wallet

August 27th, 2014

Financial services giant Citi has launched a digital wallet that uses MasterCard’s MasterPass technology to let US credit card holders “more quickly and conveniently make purchases at thousands of online merchants”. Customers who sign up for Citi Wallet will “no longer have to enter their credit card, billing and shipping information when making purchases,” the bank says.

Estimote unveils BLE stickers

August 27th, 2014

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon maker Estimote has introduced a new product category that it calls “nearables”, stickers that contain a Bluetooth Smart controller, an ARM processor and both an accelerometer and a temperature sensor. “Simply attach a sticker to an item to turn it into a nearable — a smart, connected object that broadcasts data about its location, motion and temperature,” the company says.

Boston Fed reports on mobile payments

August 26th, 2014

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has published Update on the US Regulatory Landscape for Mobile Payments, a summary of the latest meeting of the Mobile Payments Industry Workgroup (MPIW). “The industry and regulators are still trying to come to a common understanding about the different mobile technology solutions and how they impact the payments system,” the report found.

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