Times Call For A New NFC Publication

After consumer electronics giants Philips Electronics and Sony Corp. announced the launch of Near Field Communication technology in 2002, the industry watched as NFC’s market prospects gradually descended from hype to hope, then disappointment to disillusionment.

What appeared to be a simple and compelling idea–consumers touching their phones to pay for coffee, ride the bus, download coupons or pass information to friends–has proved unexpectedly complex to bring to market. The massive rollouts of NFC, it seems, are always three years off; phones supporting the technology always scarce.

But the investment in NFC has continued and so have the trials. Now some major players appear poised to move.

BalabanFor example, in France, major mobile operators and banks, along with a number of other service providers, are preparing for a dress rehearsal this spring for an intended national launch in 2011. In the UK, major telcos and banks are gearing up for commercial launches well ahead of the 2012 “contactless Olympics" in London, while one of the largest transit operators in the world, Transport for London, has made it no secret it wants to have riders tapping NFC phones to cover fares by the end of 2010.

Elsewhere, in the U.S., NFC and other contactless-mobile launches are in the planning stages. And the technology is beginning to gather steam in Asia, as well. Later this year in China, mobile operators plan to showcase mobile ticketing and payment for the World Expo in Shanghai, including a large rollout of specially made contactless SIMs being issued by giant telco China Mobile. Over in Japan, there seems little question that telcos will move the world’s largest base of contactless-mobile payment and ticketing from strictly proprietary technology to NFC over the next few years.  

And then there is Apple. If Steve Jobs blesses NFC technology by putting it in the fourth-generation iPhone in the summer as expected–even just to simplify syncing of Apple devices–other phone makers and mobile operators are sure to follow with NFC introductions of their own.

Meanwhile, contactless stickers, microSD cards and other peripherals are starting to appear to fill the gap until NFC phones arrive. And high-end contactless cards continue their slow, inexorable spread across North America and to a lesser extent, Europe, while contactless hotspots in Asia expand.
 
But a nascent industry like this one needs a reliable and independent source of information. It needs a publication determined to set the agenda for coverage, not wait to be spoon-fed press releases and talking points. It needs a publication that will highlight successes, but also ask the tough questions when project launches or product introductions don’t turn out as planned.

NFC Times will be that publication. Produced by real journalists, NFC Times will offer exclusive news, analysis and commentary on NFC, contactless cards and related technology.

Here you will find a searchable database and interactive map plotted with more than 100 NFC and contactless-mobile trials and rollouts dating from 2003. This never-before-assembled database includes all the important uses of the technology–with facts and figures, context and commentary, on each project. The database will grow in step with the market.

You will also find profiles on a number of important industry players and suppliers, taking an unvarnished look at their NFC and related contactless activities and strategy. The profiles will also provide links to major projects along with key personnel and data. The list of profiles, too, will continue to grow.

But NFC Times will be anchored by news and analysis you won’t find anywhere else, delivered to you via this Web site, by free e-mail updates you can register for here and later by a subscription-based newsletter and premium Web content that will feature in-depth stories and data. We’ll complement this with other important news stories and commentary from external sites.

All this will give you the most complete source of information on NFC and related contactless technology available anywhere. The Times call for a new publication covering this industry, and NFC Times answers that call.  

February 2010

HEADLINE NEWS

UK Tram Riders Take to Tapping with NFC phones to Pay for Fares, According to Early Results

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Transport for Greater Manchester, which last month launched open-loop payments on its large Metrolink tram network, said Thursday that contactless credit and debit cards and NFC wallets accounted for a combined 170,000 rides during the first four weeks of the service.

In-Depth: NFC Wallet Use for Open-Loop Transit Grows but Still Makes Up Relatively Small Share of Contactless Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive – When New York City transit officials announced Tuesday that the 1 millionth ride paid for through their new OMNY open-loop payments service had arrived ahead of schedule, they also proudly noted that 80% of the contactless payments had come from NFC wallets, not physical bank cards. 

PayPay Gets Off to Quick Start as One of Many Digital Payments Services in Cash-Loving Japan

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – As Japan continues to fight what to date has been a losing battle against cash, an announcement by the joint venture behind QR code-based payments service PayPay offers a little bit of encouragement. 

Research Firm Projects Use of NFC Mobile Wallets in U.S. to Remain Disappointing This Year

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – As Apple Pay approaches the fifth anniversary of its launch in the U.S., there is more research showing that most American consumers simply don’t see the value of tapping to pay with NFC-based payments services. 

In-Depth: Five Years After Transport for London Launched Contactless Across Its Transit Network, UK Open-Loop Rollout Remains Uneven

Aug 15 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Five years ago next month, Transport for London introduced open-loop contactless payments across its transit network, including metro, trams and commuter rail, following an earlier launch on buses. The service now accounts for more than half of all pay-as-you-go journeys and has become a global showcase for the technology.

Apple Again Promises to Push Transit Ticketing as It Seeks Broader Adoption of Apple Pay

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While noting to financial analysts late Tuesday that Apple Pay is now approaching 1 billion transactions per month globally and is in 47 markets, perhaps Apple CEO Tim Cook’s most significant comments about Apple Pay this week was to again emphasize that Apple wants to enable users to routinely tap to pay for bus, subway and other transit rides with their iPhones and Apple Watches. 

Chinese Mega Wallets Continue to Expand QR Code-based Transit Ticketing, while Major Agencies in West Stay with NFC

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight ­– China’s mega-mobile wallet providers have continued their rollouts of transit payments in China, with Tencent Holdings announcing Tuesday that two years after launching its first QR-code-based WeChat “Ride Code” service in Guangzhou, total users for its transit payments services has reached 100 million.

Sydney Transit Authority Gives Users of Contactless Bank Cards Nearly All Discounts They Get with Closed-Loop Opal Cards

Jul 29 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Transport for New South Wales, Australia, the authority that oversees transit in and around Sydney, has taken a step toward phasing out its closed-loop contactless Opal fare card, today extending nearly all of the discounts it offers on Opal to users of open-loop Visa- Mastercard- and American Express-branded contactless cards.

In-Depth: 2020 Could Mark Landmark Year for Contactless Payments in U.S.

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight– October will mark the fifth anniversary of the launch of Apple Pay in the U.S., Apple’s first country for its groundbreaking NFC payments service. 

Filings Point to Plans for Global Expansion of Apple Card and Apple Cash

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Following Apple’s imminent entry into the credit card business in the U.S. with its planned Apple Card, the tech giant is showing signs it is looking to roll out the branded credit card in a number of other countries, as well.

Analysis: It's Likely Too Little, Too Late for LG Pay

Jul 25 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – It was the fall of 2015, and interest in the Pays wallets was burgeoning. Google and Samsung had each launched their respective payments services in September of 2015 in the U.S., following introduction of Apple Pay a year earlier.

Apple Pay to Finally Support Octopus Card in Hong Kong, as Competition Grows in Market

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight –  Apple Pay will offer support for Hong Kong’s popular closed-loop contactless transit and retail payments card Octopus later this year, adding a much-needed service to an Apple Wallet that launched three years ago in Hong Kong for credit and debit payments at retail.