NFC News

London Games to feature NFC payments

The Olympics Games are an event known for highlighting technological innovation. Included in the top five innovations for this year’s London games are Mobile Payments. Mobile contactless payment applications are being provided by Visa and Samsung, the two official sponsors of the Games.

The main element that makes this innovation possible is that Samsung has already incorporated the enabling of NFC technology into the Samsung Galaxy III “the official phone of the Olympics.” Right now the mobile payments industry still attends the NFC enabling of all mobile phones; the iPhone 5 included.

At the Games in London, users can scan their phone on contactless terminals to make a purchase. The app is included with additional features such as transaction history and account balance re-call, so users can track spending. The purchase management feature could help overcome the nostalgia surrounding overspending. Although, overspending with Mobile Payments should be less of an issue, considering most people will be likely to spend less with their credit card statement constantly on hand.

The down-side of the contactless payment’s to be featured for the Olympics, is that purchases are limited to £20. If your purchase is 21£ you would not be able to make the purchase. The combination of cash and contactless card payment is also not an acceptable means of paying.

The featuring of Mobile Contactless Payments at the Olympics should though, raise some public interest in having the technology more readily available. Additionally, the Olympic platform should also encourage users who may be hesitant; to try using mobile payments, in the spirit of the games. After the 2012 Games, London particularly will be further equipped with contactless payment terminals; an estimated 140 000 set to be distributed before the games begin.

Read more about Mobile Payments at the 2012 Olympic Games

Starbucks quick to lead in Mobile Payments

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Starbucks

It’s not a secret that Apple has taken a less than aggressive approach in the mobile payment wars. An interesting article in the Wall Street Journal highlights that, this really shouldn’t be a surprise because it has always been part of the company’s angle. Piper Jaffray analyst at Gene Munster, comments on the Apple approach; “They let their competitors do their market research for them,” Piper also reminiscing of the other times that Apple seems to have let others test the waters; MP3 player, tablet etc….

Prefaced with a figure we like to keep in mind that; “Mobile payments are expected to exceed 600 billion worldwide by 2016,” the announcement of the Passbook, left more attention drawn to what it doesn’t do: “It can’t link directly to credit or debit cards, so consumers can’t use it to replace their wallets.” said Jessica Vascellaro of The Wall Street Journal. The PassBook now the remaining prefigure of Apple’s next plausible moves.

All the while, there are some other retailers who have made every effort to lead the way; Starbucks as an example has been quick in developing their own approach to mobile payments including mobile loyalty programs. Yesterday, Starbucks announced their mobile app for Android will be available in Canada, U.K. and the US; offering all three countries access to advanced functions:

  • Store locator
  • Load card with PayPal or Any major credit card (Canada/US only)
  • Payments (available in over 14,000 stores worldwide)
  • Account management/Loyalty Rewards; so you know just how close that next free drink is
  • Pin code entry; for extended security

One of the key points underlined by Adam Brodman chief digital officer of Starbucks, is that their mobile payment innovation most importantly, “extends the number of customers who now have a faster and easier way to pay at Starbucks.” Emphasizing one of the essential values that we at AIRTAG believe in; Mobile Payments and other Mobile Solutions should be designed to offer an improved retail environment and optimal user experience.

The impact from globally trusted brands such as Starbucks could be influential on bettering trust towards mobile payments.

Read more about Starbucks mobile payments

Read the original Press release

Read more from The Wall Street Journal on Apple’s Mobile Wallet Strategy

WyWallet announced by Sweden’s largest telecom providers

Sweden: The Swedish telecom providers Telia, Tele2, Telenor and Three have announced the launch of their own wallet system, WyWallet, which will be NFC capable along with other mobile payment features. The partners together provide more than 97% of Sweden’s mobile phone users with service. The NFC feature of the WyWallet is expected to launch in 2013 after a pilot-project in Visby, Sweden.

Read more about NFC in Sweden and the WyWallet

MasterCard and Deutsche Telekom announce partnership

Berlin: The partnership between MasterCard and Deutsche Telekom geared at “making make mobile payments a reality for Deutsche Telekom’s 93 million mobile customers across Europe,” (MasterCard Worldwide) was announced yesterday in Berlin. The collaboration emphasizes the need for cooperation amongst various players across the sector, to get the necessary traction for the NFC payment industry and to build consumer confidence.

The first mobile payments using phone tags and cards will be introduced later this year in Poland; a market known for high penetration of NFC enabled POS terminals. Shortly to follow, Germany will see a number of mobile payment pilot projects to be followed by a nationwide roll-out in the first half of next year. 2013 will also see the market opened to other issuing banks and partners. (MasterCard Worldwide)

Partnerships such as this one, further indicate that “we’re at a time when we’re seeing an accelerating movement away from cash – driven by technology,” (Ann Cairns, President, International Markets for MasterCard Worldwide) which will hopefully strengthen the customer perspective and enthusiasm for the services.

Watch the video on DT’s strategy of approach to conquer the European territory for Mobile Payments.

Read the full article

Google announces “Save to Wallet” API cloud based app

Sources: NFC Times, NFC World, MasterCard

San Francisco: At the annual Google I/O conference, Google announced some features prefacing further changes likely be seen to their current wallet. Among the announcements was the ‘Save to Wallet’ Application Programming Interface (APIs) for payment cards, which offers a “one-stop-shop for holding everything you’d carry in a regular wallet,” says the search giant.

With the cloud based API shoppers can virtually ‘clip’ and ‘snip’ offers directly from a website and save them to their Google Wallet to be used for discounts on future purchases. After a coupon is seen, just click the “Save to Wallet” button; easily added to any webpage by pasting the Javascript. To redeem a coupon all a customer has to do is scan their phone by 2D NFC barcode or show the sales cashier the coupon by mobile screen.

“Customers redeem offers by showing the offer code at the point of sale or by tapping their NFC enabled phone. The point of sale recognizes the offer code and applies the offer to the basket,” says Google.

Retailers benefits:

POS integration, Marketing, Web Integration

Buyer benefits:

Simple, No inbox clutter, Reminders& Notifications, Convenience, Organization

This innovation highlights one of the important aspects of Mobile Shopping; visible benefits for both the merchant and the user and it is nice to see Google’s strategy moving in that direction.

iPhone 5 NFC enabled?

Source: 9to5Mac Apple Insider

One of the topics emphatically discussed in the world of NFC is whether or not the iPhone 5 will be equipped with NFC capabilities. The source 9to5Mac Apple Insider today posted an article strongly suspecting that the iPhone 5 will in fact be NFC enabled. Apple Insider famous for their pre-predictions posted information about the PassBook from Apple, before its release. The PassBook obviously would have a very strong tie-in with an NFC enabled iPhone.

The timing might be just about perfect for an NFC enabled iPhone 5; with Microsoft announcing last week the Windows 8 phone to be NFC equipped, the announcement of the Apple PassBook and MasterCard’s PayPass set for release sometime in the coming months.

If Apple were to release an NFC capable iPhone that would drastically speed the overall progress and the entire NFC payment eco-system would further adapt. More retailers would likely make the appropriate preparation with NFC enabled payment devices and card readers, which would in turn influence consumers. One of the big complaints being that there will not be enough retail locations enabled with NFC technology.

Jim Peters, CTO of SITA, featured on Apple Insider comments that for Apple to release an NFC enabled phone now it would really make sense. In the last year the number of retailers implementing NFC enabled technology has exploded and the devices are rapidly getting into the hands of the consumers; with only more to come.

“Jim Peters, agrees that NFC is coming to the iPhone and retailers should prepare for it… There is a lot of debate that NFC will never take off because of all the arguments. But you need to get ready, this is coming. This is going to happen. By the end of the year the majority of smartphones that you go and buy will have NFC on them. If in October the next iPhone comes out and it has NFC on it, it’s game over.”

Read the full article on Apple Insider

Learn more about NFC payment solutions/Secure Apps