BARCELONA, Spain – It’s an oft-repeated goal by NFC backers–to enable customers to use a variety of NFC services when they roam in different countries by downloading the local applications when they arrive at the airport or at the point of service.
Japanese mobile operators KDDI and Softbank Mobile have launched an NFC couponing service in a popular Korean district of Tokyo, implemented by an affiliate of South Korea’s largest mobile operator, SK Telecom.
While he announced that U.S. mobile operator Sprint will introduce more than 10 additional NFC phones supporting the Google Wallet this year, Osama Bedier, who heads the wallet program at Google, revealed few other details about how the Web giant plans to boost the wallet’s market presence.
Samsung Electronics has confirmed it has an NFC version of its Galaxy Note, though that comes as no surprise to operators in South Korea, which have been selling the tablet-smartphone hybrid with NFC inside for about two months.
While mobile operators in most other countries are still struggling to roll out even scant volumes of NFC phones that can do payment, ticketing and other applications, South Korea’s telcos have already crossed the 5 million-phone mark–including NFC versions of such high-profile devices as the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note.
2012 was going to be the year that the new era of NFC-based mobile commerce had finally arrived–with Google Wallet rolling out widely, mobile operators in the U.S. and Europe making significant inroads with their own mobile wallets and big Asian m-commerce players generally commercializing NFC, as well.
The major Japanese and South Korean mobile operators in separate announcements today revealed details for planned cross-border NFC services–signaling the move by the telcos away from domestic contactless-mobile technology to standard NFC.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight –Israel-based On Track Innovations has announced a partnership with an undisclosed global provider of magnetic card readers whose products are used in financial self-service terminals, such as ATMs, but the deal has not yet had a substantial impact on OTI's share price, which is trading near historic lows.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Rabobank, one of the big three banks in the Netherlands, announced it will make debit cards for its Rabo Wallet available on NFC SIM cards issued by No. 1 Dutch telco KPN starting in the spring, after having anchored the wallet to embedded chips in Samsung flagship phones starting last year.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – France-based Gemalto, which has been heavily invested in trusted service management and NFC SIM cards in the past, is continuing to push cloud-based payments, announcing certification by MasterCard for its full host card emulation offer–with the help of technology from Moroccan-based payments software company HPS.
NFC Times Exclusive – Turkey was among the first countries where NFC got a tryout commercially, led by the largest telco, Turkcell, which launched service in 2011 using, of course, its SIM cards as secure elements.
NFC Times Exclusive – More than two-thirds of users of the ING Bank’s HCE-based mobile payments service in the Netherlands opt for no PIN entry and prefer to tap their phones for very low-value amounts, according to bank, which launched one of the first HCE mobile payments services in Western Europe in late November.
NFC Times Exclusive – Fifth Annual Year Ahead for NFC Feature: 2016 will see more commercial launches of mobile payments with host card emulation, as banks seek to enable their own apps to do payment, while in some cases competing with the ‘Pays.’
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – TAIPEI, Taiwan: Taiwan’s third largest credit card issuer, E.Sun Commercial Bank, today announced the launch of mobile payments with host card emulation, the first bank on the island nation to launch HCE commercially. NFC Times had reported the planned launch Dec. 3.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple has announced overdue plans to launch Apple Pay in China early next year, touting a list of 15 major banks that will enable customers to load their credit and debit cards in its Wallet app, including China’s big four state-owned banks. Meanwhile, Samsung followed with an announcement of its planned launch of Samsung Pay in China, which was also expected.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight –Google has announced it will expand Android Pay in the contactless payments hotspot of Australia during the first half of 2016 with at least two of the big four banks among other issuers planning to participate, while Apple had to make do with only one issuer, American Express, for its Apple Pay launch in the country.
NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Even as major Chinese banks and payment network China UnionPay prepare to participate in what is expected to be the launch of Apple Pay in China in the first quarter, they are expanding their Android-based mobile-payments services using host card emulation.