News in brief from the NFC world and beyond: Inside Contactless ships 250m cards, changes name • Visa matches phone and card locations • UK debit cards overtake cash • PayPal rewards best customers • Retailers test mobile POS • Mobile barcode usage up 30% • Which mobile OS where? • and more…
INSIDE CONTACTLESS SHIPS 250M CARDS, CHANGES NAME: Worldwide shipments of Inside Contactless‘ MicroPass contactless cards have now passed the 250 million unit mark, the company reports. It has also changed its name to Inside Secure “to reflect the company’s newly enhanced product portfolio and market focus after the acquisition of Atmel Corporation’s Secure Microcontroller Solutions business” earlier this year.
VISA MATCHES PHONE AND CARD LOCATIONS: Visa Europe has signed a deal with ValidSoft to introduce the company’s Valid-POS technology. “Valid-POS, a ground-breaking fraud prevention solution, uses telecommunication technology accessing the global mobile phone network to confirm, in real time, whether a cardholder’s mobile phone is within the proximity of the ATM or merchant terminal at which the card is being used,” says Visa Europe.
UK DEBIT CARDS OVERTAKE CASH: British consumers are now spending more money on debit cards than on cash purchases for the first time, the UK Payments Council reports. Debit card spending reached £272bn in the 12 months to October 2010 while cash spending reached only £269bn over the same period.
PAYPAL REWARDS BEST CUSTOMERS: Online payments specialist PayPal has introduced PayPal Advantage, a rewards programme for top spending customers. Benefits including dedicated customer support agents, faster dispute resolution, invitations to VIP events, cashback offers and merchant rewards.
RETAILERS TEST MOBILE POS: A number of US retailers are now equipping store staff with Apple iPod Touch devices equipped with card readers that can be used as mobile point-of-sale terminals, AppleInsider reports, allowing staff to process payments wherever they are in the store. Retailers are also looking at the potential of the iPad as both a retail kiosk and a tool for delivering personalized shopping services for high-end clients, the report continues.
PKO BEGINS SWITCH TO CONTACTLESS: Poland’s largest bank has begun converting its debit cards to Visa PayWave contactless technology. PKO Bank Polski has 8.5m customers and will convert 6.5m cards to contactless by the end of 2011.
MOBILE BARCODE USAGE UP 30%: Mobile barcode specialist ScanBuy reports that US usage of its ScanLife mobile barcode software is now 30% higher than it was a year ago. The recent Black Friday weekend, the traditional start to the US holiday shopping season, saw particularly high usage as consumers seeking Christmas gifts scanned barcodes with their mobile phones to find out more information and perform price comparisons, the company says.
WHICH MOBILE OS WHERE?: Uptime monitoring specialist PingDom has released a detailed analysis of which mobile operating systems are most popular in different parts of the world. The analysis found that either iOS or Symbian is the market leader in each part of the world, Symbian remains the top OS worldwide but is weakest in North America, and Android is yet to dominate any part of the world.