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  • Editing Team 17:28 on December 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    China Telecom Partners with Chinese Banks to Launch NFC Wallet 

    China-Telecom-partners-banks-Tianyi-NFC-mobile-wallet-rfid-blogMobile network operator China Telecom will work with more than a dozen financial institutions to launch an NFC mobile wallet in China later this year.

    More than 30 million NFC SIM cards will be distributed in 2014, the carrier says, and customers will be able to choose from over 40 mobile phones that work with the new Tianyi mobile wallet.

    China Telecom subscribers will be able to use Tianyi to make payments for transportation, dining and shopping. Personal authentication services, airport check-ins and employee ID services are to be introduced in the future.

    Financial institutions that have agreed to support the Tianyi service include Bank of China, Agriculture Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications, China CITIC Bank, China Merchants Bank, PingAn Bank, Guangdong Development Bank, China Minsheng Banking Corporation, China Everbright Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Postal Saving Bank of China, Bank of Beijing and Bank of Shanghai.

  • Editing Team 17:11 on November 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Vodafone Launches NFC Mobile Wallet across Europe 

    Vodafone-NFC-mobile-wallet-Europe-rfid-blogMobile network operator Vodafone has released its NFC mobile wallet in Spain. It will be available in Germany in mid-December and expand to the Netherlands, UK and Italy in spring 2014.

    Vodafone Wallet works with a range of NFC phones as well as with NFC tags that can be used by customers with other smartphones and feature phones.

    Vodafone’s mobile wallet “makes it easy for organizations, including banks, retailers and transport companies to host services in the wallet,” says the carrier.

    “The Vodafone Wallet allows customers to leave their cards and coins at home and manage their daily transactions efficiently and securely using their smartphone,” Vodafone says. “In addition to enabling customers to pay for everyday goods, the Vodafone Wallet will also be able to hold travel cards, loyalty cards, gift cards and vouchers, complementing and over time replacing the plastic cards in a customer’s wallet or purse.”

  • Editing Team 17:50 on November 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    NFC Mobile Wallet Isis Finally Rolls out across the U.S. 


    More than three years after it was first announced, carrier-backed mobile wallet company Isis has finally launched nationwide.

    But even if you’ve been eagerly awaiting Isis, which lets you tap your smartphone to pay for items, you’ll need to go through a few hoops to actually use it. First of all, you’ll need an “Isis Ready” Android smartphone that supports NFC and secure SIM capabilities. Then you’ll need to get an “enhanced” SIM card from AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon (Isis’ parent companies). And finally, you’ll have to find a place to actually use it (which includes Toys “R” Us, Jamba Juice, and Coca-Cola vending machines).

    To encourage people to use Isis, the company is offering a few tempting deals, including 20 percent cash back for American Express Serve customers, free Jamba Juice smoothies, and free Coca-Cola vending machine drinks.

    During its pilot program, Isis noted that it saw some interesting results: Isis users tapped more than 10 times a month, two thirds of users chose to receive offers from brands, and more than 80 percent of payments occurred at locations like gas stations, convenience stores, and coffee shops.

  • Editing Team 15:28 on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Canadian Banks Partner to Launch Ugo — NFC Mobile Wallet 

    President’s-Choice-Financial-TD-Bank-NFC-mobile-wallet-Ugo-rfid-blogCanadian banks President’s Choice Financial and TD Bank Group are to launch Ugo, an open NFC mobile wallet, in 2014. Loblaw, Canada’s largest retailer, has joined as Ugo’s first retail partner, bringing its PC Plus loyalty program to the wallet.

    Consumers will be able to load their TD Visa, President’s Choice Financial MasterCard and PC Plus loyalty cards on to an NFC SIM card in their BlackBerry or Android handset. Subscribers will then be able to pay for goods at Visa PayWave and MasterCard PayPass terminals globally using their NFC phone.

    “We are very excited to be teaming up with PC Financial to develop Ugo, the first collaboration of its kind between two Canadian banks,” says TD Bank’s Teri Currie.

    “It will allow them to easily and conveniently use their President’s Choice Financial MasterCard, while also earning and redeeming their PC points in one single tap transaction at their favorite Loblaw or banner store locations.” says Barry Columb, president of President’s Choice Financial.

    Loblaw has over 1,000 stores in Canada. More major partners, debit and gift card capabilities, as well as loyalty programs will be added to Ugo in the future, Loblaw says.

  • Editing Team 17:38 on August 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    ING Romania Launches NFC Mobile Wallet 

    ING-NFC-mobile-wallet-rfid-blogING Bank Romania has made its ING Pay NFC mobile wallet available to customers, after a year-long in-house trial.

    Available for customers with an iPhone 4, 4S or a Samsung Galaxy handset, the ING Pay app can be used to make microSD-based contactless payments at any Visa PayWave terminal.

    Customers must also have the ING Pay package. This includes an NFC antenna booster sticker and microSD card for Android users while Apple users need to insert a microSD card into a special iPhone case add-on before they can make payments.

  • Editing Team 18:13 on July 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    ISIS to Roll our NFC Payment Service with iPhone Support 


    Mobile wallet venture ISIS, which is backed by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless, has announced that it will initiate a national rollout of service this year and will include support for Apple’s iPhone.

    “What you’ll see coming from us is a vastly improved product, a variety of new places to use it, a vastly improved user experience,” Ryan Hughes, chief marketing officer at New York-based ISIS.

    Before this announcement, ISIS had begun testing its services at 4,000 locations in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah. ISIS CEO Ryan Hughes revealed that in these tests, ISIS users made payments with the phone more than 10 times a month on average, and claimed that 2/3 of users in the test program opted to receive advertisements and offers from their favorite brands. This form of advertising would be something that carriers would use to capture new forms of revenue as the number of new smartphone customers grow.

    Transactions using NFC technology are expected to hit $110 billion by 2017, and has been included with many phones that run Google’s Android platform like the Samsung Galaxy S4, and phones that run Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, such as the Nokia Lumia 925. Apple’s iPhone does not currently have NFC capabilities, but the company has been rumored to integrate the technology with the potential launch of the iPhone 5S in the fall.

  • Editing Team 23:31 on November 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    China Unicom Launches NFC-based Mobile Wallet 

    China-Unicom-NFC-mobile-wallet-rfid-blogChinese mobile operator China Unicom is collaborating with China Merchants Bank to launch a mobile wallet service for NFC-enabled phones, with Shanghai the first city to adopt the service.

    China Unicom said in a post on microblog site Weibo, that subscribers can link their China Merchants Bank account to their SIM cards to turn their phones into a mobile wallet.

    To use NFC-enabled phone to pay at outlets that have installed China UnionPay’s Quick Pass POS systems, consumers will have to register in advance for the service at designated China Unicom branches. Participating merchants include Starbucks, Dairy Queen and Watsons.

    Shanghai is the first city to adopt the mobile payment system before it is introduced to the rest of the country, according to a follow-up post by China Unicom. The mobile operator added that China UnionPay plans to increase its POS terminals to 15 million units by end-2012.

    Yet China Unicom is not the only Chinese operator working on digital mobile payments. In June, rival operator China Mobile announced a partnership with China UnionPay to collaborate on mobile payments services, including integrating banking details into SIM cards and NFC-based digital wallets.

  • Editing Team 09:21 on November 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Google May Be Prepping Physical Google Wallet Card 

    physical-Google-Wallet-card-rfid-blogIt is said that Google may be planning to launch plastic wallet cards that would work in conjunction with Google Wallet.

    The physical Google Wallet card will work just like a regular credit card and can charge whichever default card you currently selected on the Wallet app.

    It will work anywhere major credit cards are accepted, and can be used in those scenarios where tap-and-pay is not a supported or preferred method of payment. With a Google Wallet card and a phone, user can leave all his/her credit cards at home.

    Acquiring the card is simple — you can order the card straight through the Google Wallet app and have it delivered directly to your house.

    In addition, additional features are coming to Wallet app as well: the ability to deposit and withdraw money to and from a “Wallet Balance”, and person-to-person money transfers.

    Google could publish a version of the Wallet app without NFC permissions that just allows you to switch between your cards, which could be installed on any phone (even iOS or Windows Phone, theoretically), and you just use the Wallet card for payments. Google really does seem to have thrown a wrench in the works of the likes of ISIS and other competing systems.

  • Editing Team 23:29 on November 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Microsoft Announced New Windows Phone SDK 8.0 with NFC Wallet API 

    Microsoft-Windows-Phone-SDK-8.0-NFC-Wallet-API-rfid-blogMicrosoft has announced the new Windows Phone SDK 8.0, which includes new tools for testing and debugging, a Wallet API to help developers make money with their apps, and tools for building and adding such features as voice recognition, VoIP, and camera integration.

    The new SDK provides standalone IDE (integrated development environment), using the Visual Studio Express 2012 edition, for developers to build Windows Phone 8 applications. It also provides an add-in to the Visual Studio 2012 Professional, Premium, or Ultimate editions.

    To help developers cash in on their apps, Windows Phone 8 has introduced the Wallet, which is capable of collecting coupons, credit cards, and loyalty numbers from a single location; managing payment instruments in the app and music store; and making contactless transactions via NFC. According to Microsoft, the Wallet API offers full programmatic access to the Wallet, allowing developers to create, read, update, and delete Wallet items.

    The SDK also includes tools for helping developers spruce up their apps. For example, developers can create camera apps, dubbed a lens in Microsoft vernacular. A lens opens from the platform’s built-in camera app for users to shoot pictures on the spot. Rich-media lenses support the viewing and editing of digital photos; the lens feature also can be used for scanning bar codes and displaying related data from a local folder.

    Additionally, the SDK includes tools for adding three types of speech components to their apps: voice commands, speech recognition, and text-to-speech. Using the voice command functionality, developers can set up their apps so that phrases link to specific app pages, perform specific tasks, or initiate actions. Speech recognition, though similar in concept, is developed in a different way with a different API, according to Microsoft. The key difference between the two: Speech recognition occurs inside an app, while voice commands occur outside.

    The SDK also enables developers to build VoIP (Voice over IP) apps, enabling users to make audio and video calls over their data connections. The apps integrate with the Windows Phone 8 platform such that incoming calls are displayed with the same phone UI as regular calls.

    The Windows Phone SDK 8.0 is available at the Windows Phone website.

  • Editing Team 17:54 on August 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Mobile Wallet & NFC — the Next Patents Battleground 

    NFC-mobile-wallet-war-Google-Apple-Microsoft-rfid-blogLast week, a California court decided Samsung infringed on various patents related to the iPhone and Apple was awarded $1 billion. Thus far, the smartphone wars entered a critical phase.

    Yesterday, Robin Dua, Google Wallet project manager, announced that he wanted to add more features to the app, including support for movie tickets, boarding passes, ID cards, and gift cards. The idea is to leave your leather wallet at home and carry your phone to do all transactions from getting a bus to buying a coffee.

    However, at the WWDC in July, Apple also demonstrated a new Passbook app that allows users to gather all their passes in one place, including boarding passes and sports tickets. The app enables users to scan coupons with their iPhones or iPod touch devices, such as getting into a concert or checking into hotels.

    Yet, Microsoft also has big plans for this area. It appears to be progressing with its WalletHub for Windows Phone 8, emphasizing enhanced security. At a recent Windows Phone keynote, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore demonstrated the NFC capabilities of forthcoming devices. He also talked about NFC tags in posters for apps, or using NFC to execute a call to a taxi, or using tags on business cards to receive contact information.

    Although NFC is the one area that Apple has been very quiet about, it does make sense that a device as predominant as the iPhone will play a role in this rapidly unfolding m-commerce area.

    As many people expect, mobile payment and digital wallet could be the next big thing in the next five years. So what’s the next big move from these mobile giants? Stay tuned as we’ll be learning more about it.

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