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Archive: News in brief

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.

Fime gets NFC Forum analog testing qualification

January 5th, 2015

NFC testing specialist Fime has announced its labs in Asia, EMEA and Korea have been qualified to perform NFC Forum analog certification testing. “These Fime laboratories are now authorised to perform all forms of NFC Forum certification testing, covering analog, digital, logical link control protocol and simple NDEF exchange protocol (SNEP),” the company explains.

BMW uses NFC for print advertising

January 5th, 2015

Car maker BMW has embedded NFC tags in a four-page advertisement for its i3 and i8 models in German magazine Spiegel Wissen. “Tapping a smartphone once on the advert instantly downloads the BMW i-app,” platform provider Tamoco explains. “Customers interacting with the print ad are directed to the most relevant content based on which operating system they use or how often they have tapped the ad previously.”

Mozido buys CorFire

December 19th, 2014

Cloud-based mobile payments platform provider Mozido has acquired the majority ownership of mobile commerce specialist CorFire, previously wholly-owned by South Korean IT services provider SK C&C. “By adding [Corfire’s] strength in NFC-enabled mobile wallets to Mozido’s extensive mobile financial services and retail marketing capabilities, we can now give merchants around the world access to a powerful mobile ecosystem,” says Mozido’s Michael Liberty.

Touch ID patent adds fingertip motion

December 19th, 2014

Future iPhones may use a combination of Touch ID and fingertip motion to protect access, a recent Apple patent application has revealed. “An electronic device may include a finger biometric sensor, a display and a processor coupled to the finger biometric sensor and the display,” the filing explains. The patent application goes on to explain how a phone could be partially unlocked by drawing the correct pattern on the fingerprint sensor, or fully on providing a biometric match.

Brixton Pound to add NFC

December 19th, 2014

Brixton Pound (B£), a local currency designed to encourage consumers to spend in independent businesses, is to launch an NFC ‘tap and pay’ service in 2015. “The currency will implement contactless payment terminals for B£ businesses and traders, which will further speed and simplify payments,” the organisation says. The service currently lets Brixton residents make payments via Bluetooth beacons or pay-by-text.

Mobile barcode scanning booms

December 17th, 2014

Consumers scanned more than 4.5m barcodes with Scandit-powered mobile shopping apps this Black Friday, the company has revealed, “with some US-based apps experiencing as much as 40 times increase over last year”. Total scan volumes across mobile apps that utilise Scandit “more than doubled year-over-year.”

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