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  • Editing Team 17:56 on July 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Galaxy S III, , , , ,   

    Italian Bank Partners with Vodafone to Test NFC Payments Service 

    Banca-Mediolanum-Vodafone-trial-NFC-payments-rfid-blogItalian financial services company Banca Mediolanum is working with mobile network operator Vodafone Italia to run a pilot in Milan to test NFC mobile payments.

    All 60 consumers involved are equipped with a Samsung Galaxy S III handset, pre-loaded with the bank’s mobile payment application, and containing an NFC SIM card provided by Vodafone.

    The app, developed by the bank in partnership with technology infrastructure and service provider SIA, is linked to a MasterCard prepaid card issued by the bank, called InMediolanum Conto Carta.

    Payments are deducted from the prepaid card account whenever a consumer makes a payment using their mobile phone at any contactless POS terminal. The trial is due to run until the commercial launch of the new mobile payments service, expected in early 2014.

    “The trial is taking place in Milan but we have had transactions also outside of Milan and outside Italy; some of our trialists tried the service outside the country, in England and the US.” said Banca Mediolanum.

    “The test has a double purpose; to test the new service from the technical point of view and from an experiential one, in order to collect qualitative feedback to understand properly the user experience and to position Banca Mediolanum among the first movers in Italy in the mobile payments service.”

    “During the first weeks of trial we have collected over 600 successful NFC transactions in over 200 different merchants, in Italy and outside of it.”

  • Editing Team 20:48 on October 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Galaxy S III, , , ,   

    Auckland NFC Transport Trial Enters Next Phase 

    Auckland-NFC-trial-rfid-blogTelecom, Westpac and Auckland Transport have announced the next phase of their NFC mobile wallet trial on Auckland’s public transport system.

    An NFC-capable phone is used to pay for fares on a train platform. More than 30 trail participants in Auckland will use Samsung Galaxy S III phones to pay for journeys on trains and ferries.

    However, there was no news about the availability on Auckland buses, which according to Auckland Transport have the highest public transport patronage in Auckland, with almost 55 million trips expected this year.

    Telecom says in future the system will be available as an alternative point-of-sale payment method akin to EFTPOS, or contactless credit cards. In addition, the telco expects it to be used as a coupon and rewards system.

    The trial is a collaboration between Auckland Transport, Westpac Bank, Telecom, Gemalto, Thales, and Paymark. According to the joint venture, its mobile wallet technology will be available towards the end of 2013.

  • Editing Team 17:59 on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: battery case, Galaxy S III, , ,   

    PowerSkin announced NFC-enabled Battery Case for Galaxy S3 

    Galaxy-S3-NFC-battery-case-rfid-blogNFC technology does not work when the Samsung Galaxy S III is placed inside most protective phone cases. Now, the accessory maker PowerSkin has solved this problem with its newly announced battery case for the Samsung Galaxy S III, which the company claims is the first ever NFC-enabled smartphone battery case for the device.

    The NFC wireless technology allows the smartphone to communicate with other devices in proximity via magnetic-field induction. The case has special technology to allow NFC signals to pass through the silicone case for quick information sharing. Now, Galaxy S III users can make payments or tap and share data without taking the phone out of its case.

    Of course, like other PowerSkins, it also has an internal rechargeable 1,500 mAh battery to extend runtime of the smartphones.

    Other features of the battery case include smart power management that shuts off the PowerSkin internal battery when the phone is fully charged. That smart management saves power inside the case’s battery for longer run time when it’s needed.

    The case has LED lights on the back to indicate how much power is left in its internal battery. That silicone shield should also help keep your precious handset safe in the event of an accidental drop or fall (just don’t hit it with a hammer or anything). The Samsung Galaxy S III PowerSkin is available right now for $79.99.

  • Editing Team 22:50 on September 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Galaxy S III, , ,   

    Samsung’s Defeat to Apple May Be a Good Thing for NFC 

    Apple-Samsung-NFC-Galaxy-S3-rfid-blogRecently Apple has won a lawsuit against Samsung, which led to a potential import ban placed on Samsung. Yet it may be a good thing for mobile payments and NFC. Here are the reasons why:

    First, the phones on the ban list are going or have been out of date. Although some are still on sale in carrier stores, very few of them are enabled with NFC. Fortunately, Samsung’s latest and greatest phones, such as the Galaxy S III, are not listed.

    Second, Samsung has a big market share in the US. In this case, many carriers will have to clear their shelves of the phones listed in the ban. Customers may have fewer Samsung choices, but at the same time they are more inclined to buy the newer models, such as the upcoming NFC-enabled Galaxy Relay. Let’s think of it in another way: right now you have about 10 phone choices, 2 of which have NFC, so the probability of buying an NFC-equipped phone is 1/5; now Apple forces carriers to remove 4 of those 10 phones, which luckily to have no NFC, so now the probability rises to 1/3.

    Yes, Samsung is being ordered to pay more than $1 billion in damages to Apple, but they could reduce the amount they have to pay by setting up a buy-back or replacement program for their phones that are listed in the judgment against them. Although they may have to suffer some losses, if they replace the phones, they can get around issues caused by a patent suit.

    Besides, this case may be in appeals for many years, so Samsung will more likely pay a great deal less than what was ordered — or possibly nothing.

    Even though the judge may still ban the import of some phones into the U.S., the Galaxy S III will not be banned. Samsung is now offering its Galaxy S III through all the top carriers, and even through mobile virtual network operators like Virgin and MetroPCS. Samsung wants to get as many Galaxy S III phones on the market as they can, and into the hands of as many users as possible. At the end of the day, every single Galaxy S III sold creates another consumer with NFC mobile payment capabilities.

    As a saying goes “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, it may also possible to see Google partner with Samsung. Apple has got a lot of enemies, so don’t be surprised if global giants like Microsoft, Nokia, HTC, and others jump in with negative image campaigns against Apple. That would benefit Samsung in turn.

    So it’s possible that Samsung may laugh last. Samsung may already lose $1 billion from the lawsuit. If they must take that hit and lose that cash, why let it end up in Apple’s pockets if they don’t have to?

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