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  • Editing Team 15:49 on October 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, iOS, , , ,   

    CBA Launches CommBank App with NFC Payments Support 


    The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has combined its existing CommBank and Kaching apps into a new CommBank app with the inclusion of NFC payments.

    The revamped app will be available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8 (WP8), yet WP8 will miss out on the payment functionality. NFC payment will be supported using the secure element built into Android devices, but the exact devices to be supported were not announced by CBA.

    Since iOS devices lack a built-in NFC element, they will need a MasterCard PayTag sticker on the back to provide compatibility with MasterCard’s PayPass technology. Users who wish to make use of the payments functionality in the app will have to pay a one-time AU$2.99 fee.

    Other functions offered in the app include new swipe gestures to quickly see a nominated account balance and ATM locations, the ability to pay bills via QR codes, changing a card PIN number within the app, and Kaching functionality that allows for payments via Facebook, e-mail, or phone number.

    The bank said that it has seen contactless payments grow sixfold in the past 12 months, and that Australia is the leading PayPass market in the world.

  • Editing Team 16:20 on February 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, encrypt, , ,   

    Hoverkey: Unlock Apps by Touching a Smart Card to Your Android NFC devices 

    Hoverkey-smart-card-unlock-apps-Android-NFC-devices-rfid-blogA London-based startup has launched a system called Hoverkey, which uses a contactless smart card as a key to secure NFC-enabled Android devices.

    Users can use Hoverkey to automatically enter a complex password into a mobile login screen by touching a card to the device rather than typing it in. According to the company, this means IT departments can mandate strong passwords to protect enterprise apps and data without meeting the usual user resistance.

    On first use users need to register credentials with the Hoverkey app, which then transmitted over the secure channel to a Java Card applet running on the card, where they are encrypted. The resulting encrypted object is returned to the app for storage.

    On subsequent uses when the card is tapped against the device, the encrypted object is passed to the card, which then verifies its integrity and decrypts it before returning plaintext credentials over the secure channel to the app.

    “Hoverkey is fast, authenticating in just a couple of seconds,” says the company. And, since it does not require a data connection, it continues to work even when devices are offline or outside wireless coverage areas.

    The app and card combination can be used as a password store for third party mobile apps that have been Hoverkey-enabled, which involves integrating a Hoverkey Button user interface widget.

    App developers can encrypt data stored on the device with keys derived from very complex passwords and let Hoverkey do the hard work of remembering and entering these passwords on behalf of the user.

    A developer kit containing two Hoverkey cards is available for £79 (US$99) from the company’s website, along with a free SDK. Support for Windows Phone 8 is planned, with iOS devices getting Hoverkey “as soon as Apple integrates NFC hardware into their devices.”

  • Editing Team 11:28 on February 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, , , beam, , , , , ,   

    Apple’s Passbook Gets NFC on Android Devices 

    Apple-Passbook-Android-PassWallet-NFC-rfid-blogAttido Mobile has updated its PassWallet app to allow Android devices to beam and redeem “passes” created for Apple’s Passbook via NFC.

    Apple’s Passbook app stores coupons, tickets, loyalty cards and more as .pkpass files. They are typically received by email and redeemed or validated at the point of use by presenting an on-screen 2D barcode to a reader.

    PassWallet was developed to allow Android and BlackBerry users access to these files too, and now Attido has worked with Skycore, the developers behind the CodeReadr mobile data capture platform, to add NFC beaming to the app.

    “Passes stored within PassWallet normally present pass IDs as barcodes for scanning but can now also beam pass IDs via NFC and have those IDs validated and redeemed with the CodeReadr app on NFC-enabled Android devices,” the partners say.

    “Apple created the Passbook standard for card, coupon and ticket delivery to iOS devices. My team built PassWallet to fill the gap for the Android platform,” adds Attido’s Andy Nugent. “We then expanded the technology to support NFC redemption on Android through our partnership with the CodeReadr team.”

    “Beaming NFC passes has the potential to eventually offer a fast, secure and seamless tap-to-validate process for passes,” points out Skycore CEO Rich Eicher. “As the technology matures and becomes broadly available, we expect consumers will find convenience in a simple tap.”

  • Editing Team 15:28 on February 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, , ,   

    What Keeps NFC from Moving Forward? 

    Tylt-Tagstand-NFC-grow-rfid-blogNFC is one of the closest technologies we have to actual magic. It’s an extremely low-power radio signal that allows data to be transferred from a poster or sticker to a system like a smartphone. In this way, it can enable all sorts of new user experiences that can connect the digital world to our physical environment. For instance, you can unlock your car with a wave of your phone.

    Tylt is an NFC hardware manufacturer. The company recently partnered up with Y Combinator software startup Tagstand, an Android app, switched on by an NFC sticker and can activate all sorts of other apps to carry out tasks automatically.

    A Tylt NFC tag on your nightstand can trigger your Tagstand to turn off alerts and activate the alarm. An NFC tag placed at your desk can tell your phone to open Evernote, tether your phone’s 4G to your laptop, mute your ringer, and remind you in 30 minutes to get off Twitter.

    However, consumers are not quite familiar with NFC and don’t know what the technology can do for them. In other words, NFC tags have been a tabula rasa lacking the necessary consumer context. That’s why Tylt and Tagstand are refocusing a partnership around specific devices: a Bluetooth speaker and a phone dock, for example.

    Some retailers make products better for consumers by narrowing their scope. Telling a consumer less things they can do with something could make them more apt to buy it (or at least understand it).

    And maybe this is why the focus of NFC today has mostly been around payments, whether it’s Google Wallet or else. Maybe we do need a special speaker, phone dock, or wallet to make consumers begin to understand NFC, but hopefully those products will truly show the tech’s ingenuity.

  • Editing Team 01:14 on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, , , , , ,   

    FloJack Brings NFC Capability to Apple Devices 


    As is known to many, iPhone 5 lacks NFC capability, which disappoints the NFC industry. Therefore, one group of developers aimed to do something about Apple’s omission. Startup NFC application developer Flomio has created the FloJack, a pocketsize, one-ounce dongle that serves as an NFC reader, able to be plugged into newer Apple mobile phones and iPod Touches, as well as iPad and Android devices.

    The FloJack plugs into an Apple device’s headphone jack, automatically pairing a user’s device with Flomio’s NFC Quick Actions suite of apps to enable NFC reads. “Every phone, PC and touchpad has one [jack],” says Tim Ronan, one of the company’s cofounders, “which means the FloJack can easily NFC-enable any iPhone, iPad, legacy Android phone or any other smartphone out there. It was meant to act as an invitation for everyone to join the NFC party.”

    The FloJack is compatible with the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 models, as well as the iPad, iPad 2 and iPad 3, along with the fourth and fifth generations of the iPod Touch.

    It is powered with the type of standard 3-volt lithium battery that can be purchased in stores. Because the dongle goes into sleep mode when not in use, the company estimates battery life at one year.

    For those looking to develop applications for the FloJack, the company also offers an Open FloJack software developer’s kit (SDK), to allow them to add NFC functionality to their iOS (iPhone-based mobile operating system) apps.

    If funding allows, the firm plans to begin a regulatory certification process for the device, and to start sourcing components manufacturers. By March 2013, the company expects mass production to be underway.

    According to the company, the FloJack is anticipated to cost $49, while the app to operate it would be free.

  • Editing Team 13:37 on September 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, , , ,   

    MasterCard Unveiled PayPass User Interface SDK 

    MasterCard-PayPass-User-Interface-SDK-rfid-blogMasterCard has been in the cashless payment game for quite a while, and now it’s hoping to get more developers on the PayPass. The company has unveiled a new user interface SDK for Android and BlackBerry developers.

    The Mobile MasterCard PayPass User Interface Software Development Kit provides a standardized user interface, allowing programmers to deploy the firm’s NFC payment system, which is compatible with over 70 handsets, into their own Android or BlackBerry OS 7 apps. Once apps are created with the SDK, they’ll have to go through MasterCard’s approval process before they go live.

    Targeted towards issuers, mobile network operators and third party developers, the UI SDK is supposed to simplify and speed up the delivery process of mobile payment apps to consumers without having to become experts in this field.

    MasterCard also has an Open API program for developers to tap into the credit card company’s various services, such as MoneySend and PayPass.

    The global credit card business asserts that one of the motivations behind producing this SDK is “to increase the simplicity of the mobile payments ecosystem without sacrificing safety.”

  • Editing Team 07:27 on September 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, , , , , , ,   

    LevelUp Deploys NFC in Advance of Reported iPhone 5 Launch 

    LevelUp-NFC-hardware-iPhone5-rfid-blogLevelUp is adding NFC support to its free mobile payments solution, debuting new hardware for merchants, and allowing them to make payments using any NFC-enabled phone, the Boston-based startup announced on Sept. 6th. This addition to its technology is a clear move to compete with its competitor ISIS, which already uses NFC technology in its carrier-backed mobile payments solution.

    LevelUp CEO Seth Priebatsch said in an interview that NFC support is something they’ve been planning for a while, and even though it hasn’t been confirmed that the new iPhone 5 will support it (we’ll likely find out on September 12th), they felt now was the time to add it in. “I’m not convinced NFC will be mainstream in six months, but I do think it will 3-5 years,” Priebatsch said in an interview. “NFC is a good technology, and it’s going to be around for a while. But if it doesn’t pick up momentum, something else will, so our new hardware can be easily upgraded to support other forms of payment.”

    Even if the new iPhone doesn’t include NFC, anyone with an NFC-enabled Android phone will still be able to use the new hardware to pay. Priebatsch said, if another technology like Bluetooth 4.0 becomes popular, merchants can open up the new terminal and replace the chip. He said that the ultimate goal is to integrate with whatever method consumers want to use to pay. “Our new NFC hardware is part of our approach to be able to integrate with whatever is out there and make LevelUp work for everyone.”

    To take advantage of the new system, consumers will have to download the LevelUp app for Android or iPhone, link their credit or debit card to their account, and can get a QR code they can scan at any supported merchant, or pay via NFC by tapping their phone on the new counter-top hardware for merchants.

    LevelUp recently cut its merchant fees, in order to compete against mobile payments leaders Square and PayPal. It is also working on building out their partnerships. Although it might not have big-name partnerships like Square’s recent Starbucks announcement, the company is willing to do whatever it takes to compete in the mobile payments arena. With 250,000 active users who are spending a total of $2 million a month, and one million transactions processed since launch, the company seems to be on the right track.

  • Editing Team 11:30 on August 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, , , ,   

    CyanogenMod 9.1 Supports NFC Payment System SimplyTapp 

    CyanogenMod9.1-NFC-payment-SimplyTapp-rfid-blogYesterday, the CyanogenMod team has released a new version — CyanogenMod 9.1, working on Android 4.0.4. The new version provides some much-needed bug fixes and improvements to certain handsets, along with one significant feature added — an NFC-based payment system called SimplyTapp.

    SumplyTapp is created by two dedicated CyanogenMod users who intend to broaden NFC payment usage through a more open implementation of the embattled standard.

    Needless to say, in order to take advantage of the SimplyTapp service, you’ll also need an NFC-enabled device. Right now, the only officially supported devices are the Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy S II. Since CyanogenMod 9.1 device is also embedded with an NFC chip, it ought to support the app as well.

    Unfortunately, merchants that can use Tapp are limited: besides the “Anywhere” card which can be reloaded via PayPal, NFC systems from McDonalds, Tim Hortons and HEB grocery stores can be added to the app. Currently, only U.S. dollars can be used.

    The way it works is by loading a pre-set amount of money on NFC cards, or by using compatible NFC gift cards. Card credentials are stored in the cloud, which means that any secure information is not accessible to thieves or hackers in case your phone is compromised.

    It is said that the app is both simple to support and implementation and it seems that creators can benefit from it in the long term.

    As ISIS and the original Google Wallet are still struggle to solve their own problems, it’s good to see an alternative emerge from the community. Hopefully SimplyTapp will add more merchants — and more ROMs, like AOKP and MIUI — to its system.

  • Editing Team 16:40 on August 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, , , , ,   

    Skillweb’s NFC Attendance Solution Now Works on Android Phones 


    The UK-based company Skillweb has announced that its mobile attendance solution, SmartTask Attend, can now be used on Android smartphones. The solution is already available on BlackBerry devices.

    It uses NFC tags or QR codes to allow employees to swipe or scan with their smartphones to record their attendance when they enter and leave the workplace. As to employers, the solution enables them to quickly record and monitor the time and departure of each employee in real time, so that they can make sure all appointments are being met and carried out.

    Private and public sector organizations can now trial the application for 30 days on Google Play, before making the decision to adopt the technology for their worker’s Android devices.

  • Editing Team 11:24 on August 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, , , , ,   

    Singapore Telcos Have Launched NFC Mobile Wallets 

    Singapore-telcos-SingTel-M1-NFC-mobile-wallet-rfid-blogLast year, a consortium, including European vendor Gemalto Citibank, DBS Bank and pre-paid card specialist EZ-Link, was set up by Singapore’s government, in order to build a S$40 million interoperable NFC infrastructure for mobile payments.

    Earlier this month, StarHub was the first telco to launch an NFC wallet which used the infrastructure. Now M1 and SingTel have joined in.

    According to SingTel, it has developed a mobile payments service with EZ-Link. With its NFC SIM, customers can make cashless payments by tapping NFC-enabled smartphones at terminals at over 20,000 points that accept EZ-Link, such as taxis, supermarkets and fast food chains.

    Download the EZ-Link app from the Google Play Store for use on NFC-enabled Android mobile handsets, and users can check transaction history and balances, and top-up the purse with any debit or credit card.

    The app can be topped-up over-the-air, which means that SingTel customers can easily download and top-up on the go, with their NFC-enabled phone and credit cards.

    “The NFC solution that we are launching today is the first of many innovative mobile services that SingTel will unveil. We will progressively launch differentiated services that enhance our customers’ lifestyles and provide them with a unique mobile commerce experience, ranging from payments to value-added services.” says Gan Siok Hoon, VP, m-commerce, SingTel.

    At the same time, M1 has also been working with EZ-Link and MasterCard on its wallet. Customers who buy an NFC SIM and certified handset (Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy S Advance or Sony Xperia S) will be able to make contactless payments at merchants that accept Paypass and EZ-Link.

    Using M1 Mobile Wallet, users can obtain information on available NFC services, as well as manage their account and settings, such as default cards, initiating payments, viewing transaction details and password amendments. M1 has also implemented a wallet passcode as an additional security measure, which is required before processing manual payment transactions.

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