Contactless payments to arrive in France

Visa_BP.pngLaunched in the US in 2005, contactless payment systems begin to gain traction in France. This system proved to be very popular in the US for small amounts, credit card companies have waived their signature requirements for so-called “small ticket” items; Visa, for instance, doesn’t require your signature for purchases at or below $25. It seems that banks in France will follow the same path, which is a good news both for contactless usage and NFC applications when those payment applications will be embedded in a mobile phone.

More information (in French) here: La Banque populaire va tester à Besançon le paiement sans contact pendant six mois. Il concerne les achats de moins de 20 euros

And here: Le paiement par carte bancaire sans contact à l’essai en France

Selon Atos Origin, l’avenir des paiements mobiles passe par la collaboration entre les banques et les opérateurs de téléphonie mobile

Selon le dernier livre blanc publié par Atos Origin, les banques et les opérateurs de téléphonie mobile doivent collaborer pour garantir l’avenir à long terme des paiements mobiles. Cette étude, intitulée Breakthroughs in the European Mobile PaymentsMarket, avance que ce n’est que par la coopération et des initiatives communes que les banques et les opérateurs mobiles seront en mesure d’offrir aux consommateurs une solution convaincante, sûre et conviviale. Elle milite également en faveur d’une mutualisation des ressources,seule capable de réduire les coûts de développement et de commercialisation.
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Banks to face low-cost challenger for contactless payments

UK-based start-up sQuidcard is to launch a low-fee alternative to the national contactless programme promised by the nation’s biggest banks and credit card schemes MasterCard and Visa.Barclaycard, Citi, Bank of Scotland, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, and Royal Bank of Scotland are all participating in the first phase of a national programme to introduce contactless debit and credit cards across the UK. The scheme, which is being introduced initally in the South East in September, will target low value transactions of £10 or under.
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China UnionPay To Launch Second NFC Test

Chinese banking card network China UnionPay plans to launch a trial of a mobile payment in Shanghai in the second half of the year, according to Yan Qiang, assistant president of the organization. Yan, speaking at a recent 5th-anniversary event held by UnionPay, says the trial will involve 1,000 mobile-payment handsets and several hundred point-of-sale terminals in Shanghai’s Pudong business and residential district, Card Technology’s sister publication CT China reported. UnionPay didn’t disclose the technology the organization planned for the trial, but most observers believe it will involve handsets supporting Near Field Communication. UnionPay was involved in a trial launched last August in Shanghai that included downloads of a loyalty application to Nokia NFC handsets. In an unrelated note, Yan also disclosed UnionPay would help one of China’s largest banks, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, to upgrade about 500,000 of the bank’s popular Peony card to credit smart cards that support the Chinese version of the global EMV standard. Some Peony cards already sport a chip to store driver’s information. A magnetic stripe on the cards now stores a debit application. ICBC plans to issue the new credit chip cards in Beijing, although it was not clear just how soon. It will later expand the program to Shanghai and Guangzhou. (In Card Technology 2007-04-09)

NFC Pilot in NYC

After the web 2.0 : the NFC 2.0

The NFC 2.0 is already tested in Japan with a new Felica chip. This chip is twice faster (424 Kbps) than the previous version and has more memory.

Some examples of applications with the new version of FeliCa system :

  • in taxi for payment :


  • in fuel pump for payment :


  • in restaurant for ordering and payment :


>>> more info here (in French)

NFC trials & pilots in the US

Nouvelle_image.GIF In New York, MasterCard and Citibank are testing NFC as a replacement for paper tickets.
Cingular is testing Nokia’s 6131 NFC phone, which it plans to offer to consumers. Cingular hasn’t announced a timetable for the new phone.
Northern California’s Bay Area Regional Transit is wired with NFC readers that will let owners of enabled phones bypass the ticket booth.
In Dallas, Nokia and MasterCard have given 500 consumers NFC phones to test at local 7-Eleven convenience stores.
In January, HSBC Credit Card Services gave 200 of its employees NFC-enabled phones that work at any New York City PayPass location such as McDonald’s and 7-Eleven.