Subway To Accept Contactless Payment as it Preps for Google Wallet

The giant Subway sandwich shop chain has said it will accept contactless payment at more than 7,000 locations in the United States, as it gears up to support the Google Wallet.

Subway, the largest restaurant chain in the United States in terms of outlets with more than 24,000 locations, is only committing to accepting contactless at about 30% of its U.S. sandwich shops for now, a spokeswoman told NFC Times.

MasterCard Worldwide announced the Subway rollout today, saying that the 7,000-plus stores will be ready to accept MasterCard's PayPass contactless payment application by the end of the first quarter of 2012. The terminals will also accept other major contactless payment brands, including Visa payWave.

The rollout is a boost for PayPass, which is accepted at about 140,000 merchant locations in the United States, including about 12,000 McDonald’s restaurants.

“It is definitely a big step forward in that category of merchants,” Mario Shiliashki, MasterCard’s senior vice president and group head, U.S. emerging payments, told NFC Times. “Our goals aligned with Subway’s–a convenient, fast and ultimately better (checkout) experience.”

But the Google Wallet launch and the prospect for contactless-mobile payments in general–not contactless payment from cards–are driving Subway’s move to accept PayPass and the other major contactless applications in the United States.

Both Subway and MasterCard are participating in the Google Wallet, which officially launched Sept. 19. Subway is one of 22 merchants so far supporting the wallet or planning to do so, according to Google. A Subway spokeswoman indicated the 7,000 stores would be concentrated in five cities, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. These are the cities where Google Wallet is first rolling out.

“This initial 7,000-store rollout is aimed to gain consumer acceptance of mobile payments and to address any technical issues that may come up,” the spokeswoman told NFC Times. She added that the purchasing cooperative for the 7,000 franchised Subway outlets that is overseeing installation of the contactless terminals views the rollout as sort of a trial run. It will “look to the results to drive a decision regarding future rollouts.”

She added, however, a larger rollout could take place in 29 states.

The 7,000-plus stores would not accept contactless mobile coupons or other offers from NFC phones at first, waiting until “we have a bigger mobile footprint,” she said. That might mean Subway is waiting for more phones to support the Google Wallet. At present, only Google’s own Nexus S 4G, sold through wallet partner Sprint, can run the wallet. And only four merchants at present accept coupons or other nonpayment applications in the Google Wallet.

While the contactless card rollout in the United States began more than six years ago, the technology has yet to take off in the United States. Backers are counting on the day when consumers can access their contactless payment, offers, ticketing and other applications in such NFC-based wallets as the Google Wallet and a similar wallet planned by the Isis mobile operator joint venture to spur interest among both consumers and merchants.

MasterCard’s Shiliashki said mobile offers and other nonpayment incentives on NFC phones will be important in helping to excite consumers and merchants, but he added that “offers is not necessarily the first thing that merchants in quick-service restaurants look to.”

They are also interested in speed and convenience, he said.

Subway has more than 35,000 locations worldwide, making it perhaps the largest restaurant chain of any type in terms of outlets. 

HEADLINE NEWS

Apple Launches P2P Payments Featuring Own Digital Payment Card; Should Banks Worry?

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – A key part of Apple’s new Apple Pay Cash peer-to-peer payments service is its digital prepaid debit card–which can be used for in-store NFC purchases and other transactions–a first for the tech giant.

Target Shuns NFC and Apple Pay as Expected with New Wallet; Service Features Private-Label Card

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Target has added its long-anticipated 2-D bar code-based wallet to its mobile app, following rival Wal-Mart Stores in launching its own payments service and shunning NFC and contactless, as expected.

Belgian Domestic Debit Network Seeks to Expand Use of Mobile Payments, Though Consumer Habits Hard to Break

Dec 1 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Belgium’s domestic debit network Bancontact is offering both QR code and NFC-based mobile payments services with 20 banks in the country, as backers seek to expand use by consumers of mobile and contactless payments, which each make up only around 1% of total Bancontact transactions.

Korean and Taiwanese Banks Test Loyalty Points Exchange Using Blockchain

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – KEB Hana Bank of South Korea and Taishin International Bank of Taiwan have demonstrated the transfer of bonus points and purchase of coupons using Blockchain technology, with KEB Hana Bank planning to launch initial service for visitors to the Winter Olympics next February in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Norwegian Banks Move to Defend Against Global Tech Giants by Uniting Payments Services

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight –  The “Pays” wallets, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, have not yet launched in Norway, but Norwegian banks are not waiting for tech giants Apple and Google or other outside behemoths, such as Facebook, to try to gain a foothold.

Shared and Limited-Use Tokens and Other Changes: Tokenization 2.0 Explained

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The second version of EMVCo’s payment tokenization technical framework adds two new token use cases aimed primarily for e-commerce and in-app payments, along with a few new assurance and authentication features, but much of the focus of the version 2.0 has been on restructuring and clarifying issues from the first version of the tokenization framework released more than three years ago, according to EMVCo in a webinar.

First Data Expected to Begin Tokenizing Mastercard-Branded Cards Next Year; Visa More Restrictive

NFC TIMES Exclusive –  Big U.S. acquirer and processor First Data plans to generate its own tokens for Mastercard-branded card accounts next year, NFC Times has learned, and a source says First Data is also in discussions with Visa to do the same, but Visa may not allow the processor to tokenize Visa-branded cards in place of the network’s own Visa Token Service.

Visa Launches Program to Promote Contactless Transit Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Visa has formed a unit to promote use of Visa-branded contactless cards and accounts on NFC phones and other devices, seeing an opportunity to expand on the success of open-loop fare collection in London and plans for the move by transit authorities in a growing number of cities, including New York, to accept contactless credit, debit and prepaid bank cards for fares.

USA Technologies Seeks to Bolster Services, Markets with Acquisition of Cantaloupe Systems

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Unattended point-of-sale vendor USA Technologies expects to close its $85 million deal to acquire competitor Cantaloupe Systems next week, telling NFC Times the deal will add to USAT’s suite of services and expand its international reach.

Orange Cash Gets New Life as Part of Orange Bank App

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – As expected, Orange will continue offering its NFC-enabled Orange Cash Visa-branded card with the launch of its Orange Bank mobile service.

First HCE-Enabled JCB Cards to Hit Market in Taiwan in First Quarter

Nov 14 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Japanese credit card company JCB will participate early next year in a mobile wallet from the Taiwan Mobile Payment banking joint venture, marking the first time JCB will support host card emulation in a mobile payments service.

Canadians Take to Contactless Cards, but NFC Wallets? Not So Much

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While a well-developed contactless card and POS terminal infrastructure and strong consumer take-up of contactless card payments has often been touted as the gateway to use of mobile payments, that is often not the case. Take Canada, for instance.