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Archive: News in brief

Priceline buys OpenTable for $2.6bn

June 13th, 2014

Priceline, the world’s leading accommodation booking platform, is to buy restaurant booking service OpenTable for $103 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at US$2.6billion. OpenTable, which has been testing mobile payments in San Francisco, has seated more than 125million diners worldwide while one million guests stay in accommodation booked by Priceline every night.

Chili’s adds table kiosks

June 13th, 2014

Restaurant chain Chili’s Grill & Bar is installing 45,000 Ziosk tabletop tablets in 823 outlets across the US, enabling customers to browse the menu, place orders, leave feedback, access entertainment services and pay from their table, using an integrated card reader. In restaurants that have already installed Ziosk, 80% make use of their tablet and over 60% of credit card users opt to use it to pay.

Samsung Tab S gets finger ID

June 13th, 2014

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S, a new Android tablet that is available in 10.5 inch and 8.4 inch versions. Both devices include a built-in fingerprint scanner to provide “safe and convenient access”.

Banco do Brasil goes NFC

June 13th, 2014

Banco do Brasil has partnered with mobile network operator Oi and Visa to offer NFC mobile payments in Brazil. The service will be made available to a limited number of users initially and then rolled out to all the bank’s customers. Users will be able to make payments with an NFC phone at any of the 1.4m contactless POS terminals available in the country. Oberthur Technologies is supplying NFC SIMs to Oi for the project.

NFC Forum updates certification policy

June 13th, 2014

The NFC Forum is to introduce a series of changes to its certification policy in January 2015. The changes include new rules for inheritance, new processes for rolling out new functionality and for implementing updates to existing test cases. “To ensure that all stakeholders have sufficient time to adjust to the changes, the Forum is making available to members a preview copy for their review,” the association says.

EE takes NFC to Glastonbury

June 12th, 2014

UK mobile network operator EE is working with the organisers of the Glastonbury Festival to make contactless payments available at 25 of the music event’s bars later this month. EE customers with an Android NFC phone will be able to use the carrier’s Cash on Tap service to pay for their drinks with their mobile phone.

Toys ‘R’ Us reports on Isis transactions

June 10th, 2014

Toy retailing giant Toys ‘R’ Us has revealed it has seen 23,000 individual transactions conducted using Isis in the three months since it began accepting the NFC payments service. The company is “very happy” with the service, Gregory Todd, the merchant’s senior analyst for credit card programs, told attendees at the 2014 NFC Solutions Summit. Isis recently announced that it is now seeing 20,000 wallet activations a day.

iWatch to sell at US$300?

June 10th, 2014

Apple will sell 21million units of its much anticipated iWatch in fiscal year 2015, at a cost of US$300 per unit, according to a research note by UBS analyst Steven Milunovich, AppleInsider reports. Sales will then ramp up to 36m the following year, he predicts.

Toronto restaurants offer mobile payments

June 10th, 2014

Twenty upmarket restaurants in Toronto have signed up for mobile payments service Tab. “Users download a free app, set up a profile, and plug in their payment information,” The Globe and Mail reports. “If they’re eating at a participating restaurant, they start the meal by checking into the establishment — the app pops up a list, geolocated to the closest participating institution. And that’s it — at the end of the meal, the app picks up the tab.”

Affirm updates credit scoring

June 10th, 2014

PayPal co-founder Max Levchin has raised US$45m for Affirm, a startup that lets retailers offer a credit option to online shoppers. The company “calculates the risk of borrowers based on a range of personal data including information gleaned from social media profiles as well as the cost of the items being purchased,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “It then determines what rate and structured payment makes sense to offer the customer.”

Windows Phone to get motion interface?

June 10th, 2014

Microsoft is to add “Kinect-like features” to Windows Phone devices later this year, “sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans” have told The Verge. “At least one device, codenamed McLaren, will debut on a range of US carriers later this year with features that let you hover your finger over the screen to interact with games and applications without ever touching the display.”

Just Eat adds NFC window stickers

June 10th, 2014

Restaurants using UK online takeaway ordering service Just Eat are being provided with digital window stickers that promote the availability of the service. The stickers, supplied by RapidNFC, include an NFC tag and a QR code that let customers download the Just Eat mobile app with a tap or scan of their mobile phone.

OSPT updates Cipurse

June 10th, 2014

Version 2, revision 2 of the Cipurse open ticketing standard has been published by the OSPT Alliance. The update “will enable an application based on a Cipurse standard – such as transit, ticketing or access control – to be recognized more quickly by the reader in the terminal,” the alliance says.

HID to demo BLE for access control

June 10th, 2014

HID Global is to show a version of its Seos digital keys platform that works with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) at IFSEC 2014 next week. Seos enables NFC phones to be used to replace mechanical keys and access cards in homes, hotels, offices, hospitals, universities and commercial buildings.

China Telecom picks Gemalto NFC SIMs

June 10th, 2014

Gemalto is among the suppliers selected by China Telecom to supply SIMs to support the rollout of NFC services to its 183 million subscribers. The carrier will be using Gemalto’s UpTeq Multi-Tenant NFC SIMs which come with embedded LTE management software, “enabling China Telecom subscribers to enjoy NFC services with the convenience and speed of mobile broadband”.

Bell ID and Aditium win awards

June 10th, 2014

Bell ID and Spanish ticketing specialist Aditium have picked up awards at a live pitch contest to identify ‘the next big thing’ in proximity. After a series of five-minute presentations, Bell ID’s Secure Element in the Cloud solution was chosen by a judging panel, while Aditium’s HCE-based Ticktrack ticketing solution won an audience vote. The contest was held as part of the NFCP Global Summit in London last week.

Hawaii gets iBeacon happy hours

June 6th, 2014

Happy Hour Pal, a Honolulu-based startup that lets businesses promote special offers to users of its mobile app, is using Bluetooth LE beacons and Apple’s iBeacon service to push happy hour offers to consumers, Pacific Business News reports. “Our team has already deployed beacons to restaurants and bars across the state,” says CEO Brandon Bennett.

iOS 8 to “read” credit cards

June 6th, 2014

Apple has included a new feature in iOS 8 that will allow shoppers to enter their payment details on an mcommerce site by simply scanning their credit card with the camera on their mobile device, 9to5Mac reports. iOS 8 will also leverage a range of device sensors to provide apps with precise indoor positioning data, the publication has discovered.

Square adds invoices

June 6th, 2014

Square has added invoicing to its Register service, allowing sellers to “get paid fast with free unlimited invoices and no monthly service fee”. Sellers can now accept payments in person, online in Square Market and through the new Square Invoices feature all “for the same low 2.75% transaction price”.

Moto Stream connects with NFC

June 6th, 2014

Motorola has launched a portable wireless adaptor to allow people to stream music from their mobile devices to their home stereo systems. Available now for US$49.99, Moto Stream supports NFC pairing and uses Bluetooth to connect up to five devices at once at a range of up to 300 feet. Watch the video here.

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