Google’s Schmidt Predicts Contactless Terminal Rollout

Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt reportedly predicted Wednesday that one third of U.S. point-of-sale terminals would accept contactless payment within a year, a penetration rate that he said would be “sufficient” for widespread adoption of NFC-based mobile commerce.

But Schmidt, who was speaking at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in France on Wednesday, added that the projection was only an “educated guess,” according to an article in the Financial Times.

“I judge that based on how long I think it takes, because the terminals are available now, the software is available now or this summer,” he reportedly said. “How long does it take an infrastructure player to upgrade a significant percentage of their infrastructure–it’s on the order of a year, it’s not a week, it’s not a month but it’s also not five years…It’s an educated guess.”

A Tall Order
But upgrading a third of the terminals in the United States within a year would be a tall order, given that, at present, only about 2% of the roughly 7 million card-accepting merchant locations in the United States have been equipped with contactless POS terminals since the U.S. contactless-payment rollout began seven years ago. And many merchant locations have multiple POS terminals.

Google needs a wide rollout of contactless terminals that accept payment along with coupons and other offers for its Google Wallet, unveiled last month, to be successful. Schmidt Wednesday reportedly called mobile advertising and payments a budding $1 trillion industry. 

But while Google is believed to be subsidizing at least part of the cost for terminals for the 16 major retail chains it announced will participate in the wallet, Schmidt Wednesday reiterated earlier comments that Google would not be funding the terminals.

“That money is going to be spent not by Google and not by the phone guys but by the credit card companies, because the fraud rates are so much lower,” he said in the article. “Nobody knows how quickly this will occur, but it’s in their interests to convert as fast as they humanly can.”

Payment card networks and banks have not said they would subsidize terminals going forward, although MasterCard Worldwide and other card networks paid for many of the contactless terminals rolled out in the past to support the contactless card rollout.

Schmidt’s statement that one-third penetration of terminals would be sufficient to support the widespread adoption of NFC-based mobile commerce is believed to be the first time a Google executive has made such an estimate.

HEADLINE NEWS

Xiaomi's Mi Pay Joins Crowded ‘OEM Pay’ Market in China, as Device Maker Seeks to Slow Slide in Sales

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Adding mobile payments capabilities to flagship smartphones appears to be a must-have feature as OEMs fight for market share in China’s hotly contested phone market.

OTI Continues to Cut Costs and Position Itself for Growth, but Won’t Project When It Will Finally Turn Profit

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Contactless reader and NFC vendor On Track Innovations reported lower expenses and says it has positioned itself to earn more revenue from services in addition to its reader sales and possible NFC patent income–all in hopes of making the company profitable for the first time in its history. The question of when that will happen remains unanswered, however, and OTI doesn’t provide guidance.

Apple Strikes Back at Australian Banks Seeking to Bargain Collectively, Branding Them a ‘Cartel’

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple has responded to a request to regulators by four major Australian banks to jointly negotiate terms for their adoption of Apple Pay and to boycott participation during the negotiations with a strongly worded letter, branding the group’s proposed action worthy of a “cartel” that would “harm consumers, lead to less competition and less innovation and set a troubling precedent.”

Visa Policy on Alternate PANs Leaves Cardholders Out in the Cold in Taiwan

NFC Times Exclusive – Fourteen banks in Taiwan launched mobile payments using host card emulation late last week or plan to do so in coming weeks, but none of the cards that the banks’ customers can load into their new Android wallet apps will sport the Visa logo–one of the two main bank card brands in Taiwan. 

Reports: ZTE Pay to Join Crowded Mobile Payments Market in China

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Credible reports say that Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE plans to join the “OEM Pay” club, and that the company has signed an agreement with payments network China UnionPay to deploy an NFC-enabled mobile payments service in China.

STMicroelectronics Sees Booster Technology as Way to Become Competitive in NFC Wearables, Smartphone Markets

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Chip maker STMicroelectronics is hoping its $77.8 million-plus acquisition of the NFC assets of Austria-based ams AG will help it accelerate its move into the Internet of Things market, especially for wearables.

Taiwan Banks to Launch Mobile Payments with HCE, but Only with Mastercard-Branded Cards, Using Local Tokenization

Aug 4 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight –  More than a dozen Taiwanese banks and their mobile payments joint venture along with Mastercard plan to announce Thursday the launch of mobile payments using host card emulation, with more banks to follow.

NXP Reports Growth in NFC Revenue for Second Quarter Thanks to OEM Pay, Transit Ticketing in China

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – NXP Semiconductors reported growth in its Secure Connected Devices unit, which includes its NFC chips and secure elements, as the Netherlands-based chip maker is benefitting from the rollout of mobile payments services by smartphone OEMs and renewed interest in NFC transit ticketing in China.

Analysis: Apple Pay U.S. Transactions Growing but Base ‘Very Small’; and Rivals Not Apparently Catching Up

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple’s boast this week that its mobile payments service accounts for three out of four contactless payments in the U.S. says little about the number of contactless transactions it is recording stateside, but does indicate that Apple has maintained its lead over rival NFC-enabled wallets.

Swiss Competition Officials Decline to Investigate Apple Pay Antitrust Complaint for Now

NFC Times Exclusive – A few days ahead of the official launch of Apple Pay in Switzerland earlier this month, Swiss consumer protection group Konsumentenschutz SKS filed a complaint with the Swiss competition officials, contending that Apple’s policy of locking down the embedded chips in its NFC devices is “monopolistic” and is a violation of the country’s antitrust laws. The regulator, however, has declined to launch a formal investigation, deciding to continue to observe the market for now, NFC Times has learned.

Australian Banks Form Bloc to Counter Apple’s ‘Divide-and-Conquer Strategy

Aug 10 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – In an unprecedented move, four major Australian banks, including three of the country’s big four financial institutions, have asked the

Mastercard’s Planned Acquisition of VocaLink Could Speed Up Commercial Launch of Zapp’s Mobile Payments Service

NFC Times Exclusive –  Mastercard’s planned acquisition of UK payments company VocaLink may offer the final boost needed for VocaLink’s Zapp unit to launch its long overdue mobile payments service, the Pay by Bank app.