Dan Balaban's blog

Tip Sheet: Visa Opens Some Tokenization Tasks to Vendors but Keeps Control of Core TSP Function

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – We have terms, such as trusted service manager, or TSM, and token service provider, or TSP, to describe roles in the digital payments ec

Anderson, Lambert Keep Top Posts Under Lyons in MasterCard’s Reorganized Emerging Payments Unit

NFC Times Exclusive – The structure of MasterCard’s recently reorganized emerging payments unit is becoming clearer, with the payment scheme taking another stab at revamping the unit, which it considers key to its future growth, NFC Times has learned.

Tip Sheet: Apple Holds Line on Transaction Fee Demands in Certain Countries

NFC Times Exclusive – While Apple is believed to have offered Chinese financial institutions a price break on the cut of transaction fees it demands for participating in Apple Pay, the tech giant doesn’t appear to have extended the same offer to banks in some other countries.

Tip Sheet: Vodafone Tries Proxy Play Again, This Time with PayPal; MasterCard Executive Departs

NFC Times Exclusive – No, PayPal is not supporting NFC, contrary to what has been widely reported by the content aggregator publications the past week, as part of its announcement of a deal with Vodafone.

From ‘Sixpack’ to Fragmentation in the Netherlands

NFC Times Exclusive – The thinking behind the planned NFC joint venture among the three largest telcos and three biggest banks in the Netherlands back in 2010 was that companies controlling a combined 80% or 90% of their respective markets would be able to cover nearly all Dutch mobile subscribers and banking customers with their forthcoming mobile payments services, thus avoiding fragmentation.

Apple Pay to Launch in China as Early as Next Week; UnionPay Expected to Pay Fees

NFC Times Exclusive – UPDATE: Apple Pay was expected to launch in China sometime before the beginning of Lunar New Year, but now one or more sources in China say they expect it to happen as early as next week, nearly three weeks before New Year’s Day, which is Feb. 8. 

Analysis: Gemalto’s Samsung Pay Deal Likely Small; Vendor’s MFS Unit Struggles after Softcard Collapse

NFC Times Exclusive – Gemalto’s deal to supply TSM technology for Samsung Pay when the mobile-payments service launches in Europe, which Gemalto announced today, might net some favorable coverage for the vendor, but it will do little to help its struggling mobile financial services unit.

MCX Merchant Group Changes Leadership as It Faces Growing Pressure to Launch

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Retailer consortium MCX didn’t fire its CEO, Dekkers Davidson, because one of its major founding merchants, Best Buy, snubbed the group by agreeing to accept Apple Pay. But that was probably the last straw.

Apple CEO Proclaims ‘Year of Apple Pay,’ Though Offers Few Facts to Back it Up; Yet Platform Provides Twin Breakthroughs

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – In his usual gushing tone, Apple CEO Tim Cook proclaimed 2015 as the “year of Apple Pay,” though he gave few meaningful details on actual use of the new payments platform since it was launched three months ago or on merchant acceptance or Apple’s expansion plans outside of the U.S.

Why it Would Make Little Sense for Google to Buy Softcard, Unless Perhaps it Gets Preloaded App

Google is almost certainly in talks with Softcard to acquire the joint venture from its telco owners, but the question is, what would Google gain from such a deal?

HEADLINE NEWS

American Express Launches Amex Pay in the UK, in Addition to Canada

NFC Times Exclusive – American Express has quietly launched its HCE-enabled mobile payments service in the UK, along with its launch in Canada, which it announced Wednesday, NFC Times has learned.

Apple Pay Launches in Spain with Support from Santander, Mastercard and American Express

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple has continued to expand its NFC payments service, today launching Apple Pay in Spain, with participation from one of the country’s biggest banks, Banco Santander, and two payments networks, Mastercard and American Express.

Australian Antitrust Regulators Reject Big Banks’ Request for Collective Negotiations With Apple

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – In a draft decision, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has denied a request from four major banks for permission to negotiate collectively with Apple and boycott participation in Apple Pay during the discussions, with regulators expressing concern that such a position “could reduce or distort competition in a number of markets.”

ABN AMRO Launches HCE Wallet Commercially Following Pilot; Manager: Testing Vital to Ensure NFC Phones Work with POS Terminals

NFC Times Exclusive - AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands: ABN AMRO is the third and last of the Netherlands’ big three banks to launch its own mobile wallet, launching service today for its Maestro debit cardholders, the bank confirmed to NFC Times.

Exclusive: Two More Polish Banks Prepare to Launch HCE Payments

Nov 24 2016

NFC Times Exclusive – Two more Polish banks plan to launch mobile payments using host card emulation technology, NFC Times has learned, adding to a growing list of mobile payments services in Poland, which saw the launch of its first “Pays” service last week with the introduction of Android Pay.

Android Pay Launches in Contactless Hot Spot Poland, but Cards from Only One Major Bank Available to Start

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Google has expanded its mobile payments service into a sixth market, Poland, targeting the country’s high penetration of contactless point-of-sale terminals. In-app payments will follow, according to the search giant.

Long-Struggling OTI Makes Progress Toward Achieving Profitability; Still Refuses to Give Guidance

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – After years of effort, Israel-based contactless reader and NFC vendor On Track Innovations achieved a rare quarterly operating profit from continuing operations, thanks to cost cutting and a high gross margin, helped by a onetime licensing fee. But it still showed a net loss and the cost reductions may have bottomed out.

Citigroup Announces Citi Pay HCE App as Expected; Launch in U.S. Delayed until Early Next Year

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – As NFC Times reported a month ago, U.S.-based Citigroup is the latest bank with plans to launch an HCE-enabled mobile wallet for Android phones, “Citi Pay,” which will launch in Asia-Pacific first then in the U.S., using Masterpass technology.

Intesa Sanpaolo Expands HCE Mobile Payments Services to Five Countries

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy's largest retail bank, launched its HCE-enabled mobile wallet service in a fifth market, Serbia, in October through its local subsidiary Banca Intesa Beograd and claimed a country first by deploying an HCE-based payments service branded as Wave2Pay.

Samsung Pay Launches Quietly in Canada with ‘Early-Access’ Service from One Major Bank, CIBC

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – One of Canada’s big five banks, CIBC, launched Samsung Pay this week, making its Visa-branded credit cards available as part of an “early-access” launch that Samsung itself hasn’t yet announced.

Samsung Discloses Plans for Samsung Pay Launch in Taiwan; Apple Pay Launch Expected on Island Nation Soon

Nov 9 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Samsung today disclosed plans in a local forum to launch Samsung Pay in Taiwan next year with several banks and a closed-loop payments service, iPASS, which could be used for transit fare collection. The launch is expected around the first quarter.

Samsung Seeks Global Reach for NFC Transit Ticketing But Must Overcome Tech Challenges, Lack of Standards

NFC Times Exclusive – Samsung has been considering introducing NFC transit ticketing in every market where it has launched Samsung Pay, including the U.S., an