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Archive: News in brief

SnapUp creates mobile shopping lists

July 7th, 2014

A new iOS app lets users bookmark and track items for sale on mobile websites and in apps by simply taking a screenshot of any item of interest they spot. SnapUp then turns the snaps into watch lists that are continuously updated with the latest prices, letting users know when an item goes on sale.

Seqr signs up new partners

July 4th, 2014

Seamless has signed up US-based prepaid card provider InComm and the Belgian arm of POS terminal provider Ingenico as partners for its Seqr mobile payment solution. InComm offers stored value cards from more than 500 brands and will enable Seqr-accepting stores to digitize their gift cards. Ingenico Payment Services will enable its more than 160,000 merchants in Belgium to offer Seqr mobile payments to their customers.

Orange’s NFC transit ticketing goes live in Valencia

July 3rd, 2014

Mobile network operator Orange has formally launched its NFC transit ticketing service in the Spanish city of Valencia. To use the service, passengers download the Mobilis app and link a payment card. The launch follows pilot phases that have been underway in Malaga since February 2012. The service will soon be expanded to the nearby city of Alicante.

Alipay tests virtual credit card

July 3rd, 2014

Chinese online payments giant Alipay is testing a mobile app based virtual credit card service called Xinren Bao that features customised credit limits based on a user’s shopping history and a 38-day interest-free period on all purchases, Marbridge Consulting reports. Xinren Bao is currently in closed beta testing and Alipay has declined to provide confirmation or details to NFC World+ at this time.

Yapital tests fingerprint payments

July 3rd, 2014

Retailer-owned mobile payments provider Yapital is testing the use of fingerprint biometrics to replace PIN entry when paying by smartphone. “As the major smartphone manufacturers are now integrating fingerprint scanning into their products, we have immediately launched appropriate tests,” says Yapital’s Oliver Kress. The company already supports payments via NFC, QR and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

NFC wallet seeks funds

July 2nd, 2014

A Silicon Valley startup is seeking crowdfunding to put a minimalist wallet with two integrated NFC tags into production. LionNFC’s Asset credit-card sized wallet is made from two sheets of anodised aluminium held together with an elastic strap, with a programmable NFC tag that can be used to initiate actions on the user’s phone embedded in each face.

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”.

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