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Archive: News in brief

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.

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.”

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