February 2016 Near Field Communication Industry News

Recall Introducing Wearable Technology, Expanding Industry-Leading RFID Program: Global Leader in Information Management Applying Wearable RFID Scanners to Increase Efficiencies of Audit and Chain of Custody Processes. Recall Holdings Limited (ASX: REC), a global leader in document storage, digital information solutions, data protection and secure destruction services, today announced its latest innovation in RFID technology with the introduction of a wearable RFID scanner program at a Recall Information Center in Atlanta, Georgia—a first for the information management industry. The scanners are worn by Information Center personnel and are providing enhanced efficiency for auditing and chain of custody processes. This program is expected to roll out to more centers around the world this year. The wearable RFID scanners enable continuous audits of Recall customer assets during the course of daily operations. As employees move through the facility, a belt mounted scanner automatically audits tagged assets. Recent technical trials indicate this new scanning method has improved the overall process, as assets are regularly audited, complementing and reducing the time required for full site audits from up to four weeks to a few days. (SOURCE: Recall Holdings via press release)

Passive WiFi: A New Standard for the Internet of Things?: The Internet of Things (IoT) is already making an impact on home automation and energy management systems, but many IoT sensors are placed in locations where power outlets aren’t conveniently located, forcing the sensors to run on battery power. Engineering students and professors at the University of Washington have developed a way for passive IoT devices to receive energy via an RF carrier wave transmitted by an active WiFi power source. One central power source plugged into a wall outlet can transmit energy wirelessly to the passive devices, allowing sensors to send data without the need for power-hungry RF circuitry onboard. (SOURCE: Engineering.com)

Interesting Digital Coupon Marketing Statistics [Infographic]: The Coupon, a marketing gimmick that provides consumers with a rebate or a discount on various products, originated in the early 20th century. Now, it is one of the most important marketing tools and has become ever popular with most online retailers. The world of online shopping has grown in leaps and bounds, thanks to smarter, efficient and agile, and sophisticated mobile gadgets. Consumers now use their mobile devices to search for and purchase products they want. Feeding this online shopping frenzy is the digital coupon marketing.(SOURCE: Business2Community)

Three Damning Words For Marketers Proceeding With Yesterday’s Thinking: Hard words rather than hardware are what marketers should chiefly remember from the recently concluded Mobile World Congress. Sandwiched in Barcelona between the new phones, wearables, and virtual reality gear was straight talk from Martin Sorrell, chief executive of advertising group WPP. Speaking of what he called a “mobile revolution”, Sorrell admonished marketers for yesterday’s thinking. “We haven’t adapted,” Sorrell said from figuratively and literally a global stage. “When people talk about creativity in our industry, they’re talking about Don Draper. They’re not talking about the new definitions. Believe it or not, people inside media agencies are creative. Software engineers are creative … It’s the definition of it — we haven’t contextualized it correctly yet.” (SOURCE: iMedia Connection)

How the Shift from Swiping to Inserting Cards Will Accelerate Mobile Payments: Consumers Would Rather Tap Than Wait, and That’s Good News for Mobile Wallets. Let’s face it. None of us likes to dip, even though we know it’s good for us. If you are unfamiliar with dipping, it’s the newest way to pay. Instead of swiping your credit card at the checkout line, you stick it into the payment terminal. The reason for this shift is to protect consumers and merchants from fraud. What the industry refers to as “dipping” and consumers and cashiers call “inserting” is a way to fight a multi-billion dollar problem; credit and debit card fraud hit $16 billion last year, according to the 2015 Identity Fraud Report by Javelin Strategy and Research. … So we’re all inserting our credit cards now. It’s something we’ve been doing at ATMs for years — to keep from leaving our cards in the machine — so why wouldn’t we be happy to do it at a store? One word: Speed. When we’re running errands or getting a cup of coffee, inserting a card takes time. Your credit card sits in a machine and you wait until the screen tells you to remove the card. If you do not pay attention and take out the card too early, the transaction fails. This irritating little glitch is really good news for mobile marketing. We predict it will cause consumers to finally adopt mobile wallets en masse and quickly become the future. (SOURCE: Ad Age)

Global mobile proximity payment users to surpass 1 billion by 2019: Mobile proximity payments are the smallest, but fastest growing segment for mobile payments, according to global analyst firm Ovum. Ovum’s new m-payments forecast* shows that the total global user base for mobile payment segments will increase from an estimated 689.99 million users in 2014 to 4.77 billion users in 2019. This forecast also includes m-commerce and person-to-person (P2P) mobile money transfers. NFC takes the biggest slice of the 1 billion users. (SOURCE: OnRec)

Digital Transformation Initiatives Reach Beyond Marketing: A few years ago, digital transformation was a sophisticated term which meant that a company was adopting the latest marketing techniques which would increase their presence on social media and mobile platforms.  Today, digital transformation includes a multitude of changes to systems, processes, operations and job roles across the enterprise. Digital consultants are promoting the top line and bottom line benefits that come with these changes.  Here we examine six areas which are ripe for digital transformation. (SOURCE: Forbes)

Alliance Tech to Exhibit Event Technology Solutions and Lead Conference Sessions at EXHIBITORLIVE 2016: Alliance Tech will present three sessions during the conference, including the debut of, “How RF Technologies Will Change the Face of Events.” RF Technologies, including Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) are becoming increasingly prevalent in tradeshows and events. Learn what capabilities already exist and what is expected to arrive. Leave ready to use RF Technologies to make your events more interactive, increase attendee engagement and provide rich data. (SOURCE: Alliance Tech via press release)

5 Digital Trends To Watch Out For In 2016: Looking at the trends for 2016, it takes a great amount of creativity and an analytical approach to execute these trends, but also making sure that these trends are right for your brand or business. We keep hearing about mobile marketing. It’s true, mobile marketing is HUGE and will be for the foreseeable future. but how much is it worth spending on your mobile marketing efforts? You might have to answer questions like that before delving into every 2016 trend to save time and money. … I have rounded up 5 key trends that we think are the ones to watch out for in 2016. (SOURCE: Huffington Post)

Thin Film Says It’s Now a ‘Product Company’: It’s been almost a year and a half since I first sat down with Dr. Davor Sutija, CEO of Oslo, Norway-based Thin Film Electronics (THINOL), which makes printed electronic circuits with an amazing variety of uses. I caught up with him briefly at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to learn the latest. … Among the indicators of that move to product is the company getting an 11-million-unit order last year from technology firm Nedap N. V. of the Netherlands for tags that will be stitched into apparel from one of the largest “fast fashion” lines in the world, though Sutija could not disclose the name. On this particular day, Sutija was talking up the use of NFC on smartphones. With the NFC radios embedded in Thin Films’s printed tags, a fancy-looking label can be applied to, say, a bottle of Johny Walker Blue. By waving an NFC-enabled smartphone in front of the label on the bottle, a consumer can gain various sorts of information about the liquor. The idea is both to start a conversation with shoppers in the liquor store and to continue that conversation after the bottle’s gone home. This project, done through global liquor giant Diageo, and another one with Spanish vintner Barbadillo, are still pilot projects. But Sutija hopes things are now coming to a head, given that a larger and larger percentage of phones in the wild have NFC capabilities. “I think we’ve reached a breakout stage now with NFC,” he says. (SOURCE: Barron’s)

NXP backs two new IoT development platforms: NXP has put its support behind two new reference platforms that will enable “innovation and rapid development” for smart wearables. From fitness and wellness to industrial and smart devices, the platforms target a range of internet of things (IoT) applications with open-source hardware and software, form-factor flexibility and expandable solutions for designers to adapt to changing market needs. (SOURCE: NFC World+)

Research and Markets: PayPal Announce NFC Upgrade, Mobile Wallet Partnership with Vodafone: The global NFC chips market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 50.6% over the period 2015-2019, according to a report available on Research and Markets. NFC-enabled devices have become increasingly popular among consumers, allowing them to save their credit card information and make payments directly at NFC-ready POS terminals. Today at the Mobile World Congress, PayPal announced it will upgrade its app to support NFC technology and partner with Vodafone for contactless payments. This partnership sees PayPal expand beyond its traditional business model of processing payments into a mobile wallet platform. It will now seek to rival competitors Visa and MasterCard, allowing users to make payments in locations such as shops and restaurants. PayPal customers in Spain will be the first to use the service this week, with additional European markets to follow later this year. (SOURCE: Research and Markets via press release)

Wincor Nixdorf and Mahindra Comviva to enable NFC and QR Code transactions at ATM: Wincor Nixdorf, a provider of IT solutions to retail banks and Mahindra Comviva, a mobility solutions provider, have collaborated to enable seamless transaction experience at the ATM. With advent of this new solution, consumers using mobile wallets powered by Mahindra Comviva’s mobiquity Wallet will be able to withdraw cash and top up their mobile wallets at the ATM by simply scanning or presenting a QR code or use their NFC enabled mobile device. The solution will be presented at this year’s Mobile World Congress (Booth 5G51/HALL 5), showcasing how innovative ATM solutions can be integrated seamlessly into the mobile payments ecosystems. This solution is an ideal example of how electronic and cash payment transactions can be combined perfectly with each other and will extend the benefits of HCE beyond the retail store. (SOURCE: DataQuest)

SD Association Shows microSD Value for Mobile Payment and Network Security: Demonstrates microSD Memory Cards in NFC, FIDO and Payment Applications at Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2016. MWC Booth CS168 Congress Square — The SD Association (SDA), a global ecosystem of companies setting industry-leading memory card standards, will demonstrate at GSMA Mobile World Congress how microSD memory cards offer compelling value when creating secure mobile apps protecting both user identity and server credentials, exploring applications for near-field communications (NFC) and Host Card Emulation (HCE), FIDO authentication, contactless payment and the Internet of Things (IoT). Using smartSD technology, the tiny microSD memory card enables some of the most exciting and secure payment and authentication options in the mobile market. microSD as the Secure Element: smartSD enables a secure element for HCE providing certified security in various implementations with minimized compromise of HCE benefits. smartSD leverages native NFC, eliminating the cost of embedding an antenna into a microSD memory card. It simplifies and lowers the cost of operations, takes advantage of HCE with established app store distribution and provides security for the app — ensuring proper security and certification for every use. (SOURCE: SD Association via press release)

NXP validates Qualcomm processors for NFC ticketing: NXP Semiconductors and Qualcomm Technologies announced the integration of near field communication (NFC) and embedded secure element (eSE) solutions across Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 600, 400 and 200 processor platforms. The processors now come with pre-validation of mobile transaction services including transit and payment. NXP is supporting a growing number of OEMs and Chinese public transport operators in major metropolitan areas like Shenzhen and Guangdong with the deployment of secure, NFC-based mobile services. To support this increased demand for mobile transactions mobile device suppliers must scale up their products. The NXP and Qualcomm Technologies collaboration enables mobile device makers to accelerate their time to market in the mobile transactions industry. (SOURCE: Telecompaper)

Samsung Pay hits 5m subscribers: Samsung Electronics’ mobile payments service Samsung Pay has hit 5 million subscribers, with combined transactions exceeding $500 million in Korea and the U.S. since its debut in August.
The Korean tech giant said Saturday it will start the service in China in March and other countries such as Australia, Brazil, Singapore, Spain, the U.K. and Canada in phases later this year. Detailed plans for its future launches and partnerships with local banks and card issuers are expected to be revealed during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. Samsung Pay boasts better compatibility than other services as it uses both near field communication technology and magnetic transmission. The former requires a special NFC terminal while the latter can work with existing card readers. The company aims to secure an edge over its key competitor Apple Pay, a service which is based on NFC. (SOURCE: The Korean Herald)

Thinfilm and Constantia Flexibles to launch pressure sensitive labels on beverages (By Jenny Eagle+Jenny EAGLE, 19-Feb-2016): Thin Film Electronics (Thinfilm) has partnered with Constantia Flexibles to deliver pressure sensitive labels using Thinfilm’s NFC (Near Field Communication) OpenSense technology. (SOURCE: Food Production Daily)

Beacon Technology Adds a New Dimension to Location-based Marketing: Forbes says beacon technology is “catching fire”. Marketing Magazine reckons it’s all a bit “yesterday”. Before you decide what it’s not, it’s important to understand what it is… or what it could be. Essentially, beacon technology allows location-based businesses, predominantly those in retail and hospitality, to send alerts when someone approaches or leaves their location. It allows businesses to send notifications, such as special offers, to a prospective (or existing) customer’s smartphone, thereby grabbing their attention as they pass. For centrally located business centres and coworking spaces, it’s easy to see the potential. But is this technology really catching fire, or is it just a flash in the pan? John T. Anderson, workspace expert at Condeco Software, answers our questions and discusses some of the ways that beacon technology could help workspace operators attract new business. (SOURCE: Officing Today)

Excruciating New Credit Cards Finally Give Apple Pay a Problem to Solve: If you want high comedy, try buying something at my local drugstore. As you wait in line with your razor blades and Softsoap, some other poor soul will swipe their credit card through the reader on the counter—and nothing will happen, because it’s one of those new chip cards designed for better security. Then, a (slightly exasperated) cashier will tell this poor soul to push the card into a slot at the front of the reader. The poor soul will do this—and nothing will happen again, because the new chip tech is horribly slow. Just when it looks like the reader is about to die—strange pixelations appearing on the screen—a legible message will finally appear, asking the poor soul to approve the transaction—and nothing will happen yet again, because the new chip tech is even slower than anyone remembers. Then the reader will start honking like an air-raid siren, as if something has gone horribly wrong. But eventually, the poor soul realizes the siren is trying to tell her it’s time to remove the card. (SOURCE: Wired)

Morpho demonstrating digital identity solutions at Mobile World Congress 2016: Morpho (Safran) announced it is demonstrating its latest biometric identification technologies under the banner of “Enjoying life in a connected world” at the GSMA Mobile World Congress, held in Barcelona from February 22 – 26. Morpho offers a range of digital identity solutions whose biometric capabilities help bridge the gap between physical and digital identities, delivering improved security and convenience to service providers and end users. … The company will showcase its remote SIM provisioning for IoT, which is GSMA-compliant and provides secure connectivity for low power network transactions with embedded Secure Elements (eSE). Perhaps most notable, Morpho will display biometric contactless payment solutions using MorphoWave technology. The solution will also be shown at the VISA stand. (SOURCE: Biometric Update.com)

Apple launches mobile payments service in China to mixed response: Apple Inc launched its mobile payment service Apple Pay in the Chinese mainland on Thursday, pitting itself against strong domestic rivals. But some analysts think the new service-which uses near-field-communication or NFC technology-will struggle to win market share as domestic vendors, too, are poised to launch their own array of new handsets featuring the same functions. Using a chipset installed in smartphones, NFC technology allows contactless data exchange between devices and point-of-sale terminals. The transaction is completed when users hold their phones near a POS portal. “The biggest achievement for Apple Pay is that it will help open up a brand new market,” said Li Chao, a Beijing-based analyst from iResearch Consulting Group. Xiaomi Corp and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, Apple’s strongest local challengers in China, have already introduced devices with NFC features. (SOURCE: China Daily)

Leo Burnett’s Arc Looks to Bring More Mobile Content to Shoppers In-Store and After Purchase: Partnership with NFC Firm Provides Opportunity for Content, Authentication. Clients of Leo Burnett’s Arc may soon have another way to deliver content to mobile consumers. The digital and shopper division of Burnett is bringing near field communications to it clients via an exclusive partnership with tech company Thinfilm. Near field communication, or NFC, is a short-range wireless connection similar to radio frequency identification (RFID) that allows devices that are less than a few centimeters apart to communicate with one another. The Thinfilm NFC technology, called OpenSense, allows people to use their mobile phones to communicate with a product on a shelf in the store and then again after that person purchased the product. (SOURCE: AdAge)

Omneo Group Creates Digital Legacies With NFC: Families and friends of the deceased can interact with NFC tags embedded in memorials or attached to gravestones, easily accessing Omlime.com, a sort of social network to keep memories alive. Ask yourself which industries are most ripe for innovation. The funeral (also known as funerary) industry would not likely top your list. But Spaniards Bruno Mezcua Escudero and Iñigo Zurita are hoping to change that with Omlime.com, a social network designed to help families memorialize deceased loved ones, and Omneo Tap, a system that uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to provide a digital link between mourners’ smartphones and a loved one’s online memorial. Escudero and Zurita founded Omneo Group in 2012, and their first offering was a new approach to packaging the ashes of loved ones who have been cremated. Escudero’s family has operated funeral homes for generations, and he is an artist and sculptor. (SOURCE: IOT Journal)

The NFC Forum and the American Public Transportation Association Sign Collaboration Agreement: Liaison Will Promote Industry Requirements and Benefits of NFC for Public Transportation Systems. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the NFC Forum today announced a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will enable the two organizations to jointly educate the industry on Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies supporting the needs of public transportation operators. NFC technology has a broad range of use cases and applications. In public transportation fare collection, NFC technology provides a wireless connection between mobile devices and wireless readers such as those seen in gated fare collection for public transit systems. The adoption of NFC will enable a global public transportation environment in which passengers board with unprecedented speed and ease; fare collection and access are handled with accuracy; and the user experience is uniformly positive and consistent from country to country and transit system to transit system. The use of NFC for public transit ticketing is growing. Recently, New York State announced a plan to support NFC payments for the 11-million-user Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the UK Cards Association unveiled a framework to implement contactless payments, including NFC, nationwide on all forms of public transit. (SOURCE: American Public Transportation Association and NFC Forum via press release)

It’s a Cross-Device World: Criteo’s Q4 Mobile Commerce Report Reveals Top Companies Bet Big on Mobile Consumers: Criteo, the performance marketing technology company, today released its Q4 2015 State of Mobile Commerce Report, which examines mCommerce trends on a quarterly basis and provides insight into online shopping behavior as consumers’ path to purchase continues to evolve. Criteo’s dive into 1.4 billion online transactions finds that four in 10 purchases occur across multiple devices or channels. Of that figure, close to one-third are completed on a mobile device, indicating that consumers are using numerous devices along their path to purchase and are regularly buying on mobile. The proliferation of mCommerce is further fueling the desire for more personalized brand experiences from consumers. Digital marketers can no longer look at device use alone to identify and convert consumers into buyers. For companies to win, understanding user profiles across multiple devices, browsers, and apps in order to provide them with a meaningful and relevant experience throughout their shopping journey is key to success. Criteo’s Universal Match capability within the Criteo Dynamic Retargeting product tailors online product recommendations, advertising and bidding for each user, so that marketers can maximize campaign performance and consumers get a seamless, one-to-one marketing experience. (SOURCE: Criteo via press release)

Signagelive incorporates NFC tags: Cloud-based digital signage supplier Signagelive has announced the incorporation of Near Field Communication tags and beacon technology into its System on Chip and HTML5 software. The incorporation of NFC into the offering is designed to enable Signagelive customers to take static smart signage networks into the interactive world, the company says in a statement. Signagelive’s cloud-based software platform is written in HTML5 and provides full support for different content formats including static images, HD video, web pages, IPTV, multi-zoning for different media types, image layering, RSS feeds, portrait support and screen on and off control. It comprises enterprise-grade management of SoC commercial panels, optional proof of content and delivery functionality for better network and campaign management. “Interactive functionality provides retailers with an extremely powerful marketing tool,” says Jason Cremins, CEO of Signagelive. (SOURCE: Digital Signage News)

Is Universal Looking to Create Their Own MagicBand Equivalent?: Within the fan community and beyond, there was a lot of snickering at MyMagic+ and some of the growing pains it experienced in its early days. However, with the value of the initiative finally showing and the nearly limitless possibilities of the technology being realized, it seems only logical that the number two theme park company would want in. According to The Motley Fool, Universal and their parent company, Comcast, have been surveying guests for their thoughts on RFID technologies and MyMagic+ style offerings coming to their Orlando resort. As Fool notes, Universal has priced themselves in line with the Walt Disney World parks and so offering all the same amenities is a must in order to keep the momentum going and continue to enjoy the increasing attendance their two parks in central Florida have seen in recent years. (SOURCE: Laughing Place)

Mobile Point-of-Sale Market Expected to Register Shipment of 245.21 Million Units in 2022: According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research “Mobile Point-of-Sale (mPOS) Market (By Solution Type: Integrated Card Reader Solutions and Card Reader Accessories; By Technology: Hybrid Technology Solutions, EMV Chip and Pin, Magnetic-Stripe, Chip and Sign, Near Field Communication (NFC) and Biometrics; By End-use: Restaurant, Hospitality (Lodging), Healthcare, Retail, Warehouse/Distribution, Entertainment, Transportation, Government and Consumer Utility Services) – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 – 2022,” mPOS shipments are expected to reach 245.21 million units by 2022, increasing from 11.87 million units in 2014. … The global mPOS market is expected to observe tremendous growth outside North America and Europe, considering the untapped potential markets in fast developing countries. The widespread adoption of Internet and adoption of technology in emerging countries are important factors driving the mPOS market. India is expected to witness huge growth in terms of mPOS shipments with an estimated CAGR of 55.8% during the forecast period (2014 – 2022). This growth is expected due to the presence of large number of small merchants in India, high growth in smartphone and Internet penetration in the country, and favorable government policies. Moreover, top banks in India have launched NFC-enabled debit and credit cards. Further, China is expected to expand at a CAGR of 53.3% in terms of mPOS shipments during the forecast period. Government regulations for branchless banking in China and the on-going efforts in China to create mobile micro-ATMs in rural areas will drive the market for mPOS devices. China is expected to see high growth in shipments of NFC mPOS solutions, due to the preference for NFC technology over the older mPOS. (SOURCE: Transparency Market Research via press release)

5 Questions You Should Answer If You Want Your Mobile Marketing to Work: Where growth is coming from, building trust and more. While it’s no surprise that mobile devices are playing a larger role in consumers’ lives, the growth in the use of smartphone devices has had a transformative impact on the way people interact with brands. As a result, the dichotomy behind this new relationship promises to reshape our daily lives for many years to come. Since consumers and smartphones are attached at the hip, brands have increasingly turned to these new digital appendages as a key touch point in their dialogue with customers. The question now becomes: What do brands need to know about mobile consumers heading into 2016? (SOURCE: AdWeek)

Vodafone, PayPal set up contactless alliance in Europe: Users of the Vodafone Wallet app in a number of European countries will be able to make NFC-based purchases on their Android smartphone in locations such as shops and restaurants from their PayPal account. PayPal said the agreement between the two companies will enable “millions” of its customers to add their accounts to Vodafone’s wallet app, which is supported by more than 70 NFC-based Android smartphones. More details will be disclosed at next week’s Mobile World Congress. (SOURCE: Mobile World Live)

6 Key Pointers for Marketers as Mobile Becomes Ubiquitous: The use of smartphones and other mobile devices is expanding rapidly with each passing year. More than half of the time that people spend online is spent using mobile devices, and as smartphones become increasingly popular in developing countries, that number can only be expected to rise. With people keeping mobile phones within their arms reach 24×7, it is clear that mobile devices are no longer a secondary belonging for consumers. What does that mean for marketers? Mobile is no longer a channel to be treated as additional. It commands equal share of attention as other traditionally popular marketing channels, if not more. Moreover, changes in the mobile sphere occur, and usually accepted and adopted by consumers, much rapidly than in any other medium. What the scenario was a year may become totally irrelevant in the year to come. So, marketers constantly need to be looking ahead while capitalizing on current opportunities. Here is a brief lowdown on the current mobile market scenario and what could be expected in the near future. (SOURCE: MarTech Advisor)

How the quiet rise of beacons has reshaped retail marketing: Over the last four years, there’s been a technological uprising in the staid world of coupons. It’s President’s Day weekend, which for some of us means a blissful three-day respite from the rigors of work; a bonus day to help us manage the doldrums of winter. To mark the occasion, I decided to take a leisurely drive through the local suburban sprawl — because, let’s face it, nothing shows reverence to our nation’s leaders like some healthy consumerism. To kick things up a notch I activated my phone’s locations services, and without fail, the push notifications began pouring in. I was quickly alerted to two nearby mattress sales, a furniture “blowout”, a winter clearance, and two ~limited-time~ offers. (SOURCE: ZDNet)

5 Things NXP Semiconductors NV’s Management Wants You To Know: The semiconductor industry is facing a downturn, but NXP expects the long-term picture to look a lot better. … NXP is the leading provider of NFC chips that enable mobile payment systems like Apple Pay and Android Pay. The iPhone has contained an NFC chip since the iPhone 6, and high-end Android smartphones generally contain NFC chips as well. NXP expects the high-end portion of the smartphone market to slow down going forward, but Clemmer doesn’t expect that to hurt NXP’s NFC business in the long run. … Beyond smartphones, wearable devices offer another opportunity for NXP to sell more NFC chips. While wearables may not take off like smartphones have over the past decade, the potential for tens of millions, or even hundreds of million, of mobile payment enabled wearable devices to be shipped annually in the coming years provides NXP’s NFC business with a long runway for growth. (SOURCE: The Motley Fool)

Chico firm offers mobile app marketing: Chico >> business owners with a smart cellphone equipped with Bluetooth have a new way to ramp up sales, thanks to a start-up company with Chico roots. Whodini is the name of the mobile marketing app that the Chico company says is reinforcing the business-customer connection through cellphones. (SOURCE: ChicoER)

If You Want To Appeal To Millennials, Go The Mobile Beacon Route: As millennials age and move into more mature cycles of consumerism, an ever-increasing number of businesses are seeking ways to target this large demographic, and it turns out that mobile app technology, and beacon tech, in particular, might be the best way to do it. Mobile is proving prolific in targeting millennials. With m-commerce becoming more and more prevalent, and limitations in the mobile web being realized and reduced, many retailers are turning to the development of native mobile apps to help them track, connect to, and engage with, these consumers. The major advantage is the ability to provide the personalized, social shopping experiences that drive their interest. According to a new survey by Forbes magazine, almost half of Millennials downloaded a shopping app on their phone in 2015; 54% like these types of apps because the experience is better than using traditional mobile sites; and 27% shop using apps to take advantage of exclusive offers and discounts. (SOURCE: MobileMag)

Top 3 annoyances for mobile shoppers: While mobile shopping is definitely on the rise around the world, there are still some hiccups in that arena. According to new data from Bizrate Insights, a division of Connexity, shoppers want mobile to be fast and simple. Here are their top 3 issues with m:commerce. (SOURCE: Biz Report)

TapClicks Announced as Finalist of Ad-to-Action Awards by Local Search Association: TapClicks, Inc., a marketing technology company that delivers complete digital marketing reporting and analytics, has been listed as a finalist of the Ad-to-Action Awards in the Attribution & Analytics category. The Ad-to-Action Awards, hosted by the Local Search Association (LSA), celebrates innovation and promotes products that drive local consumer from ad to action. As engaging consumers in close proximity becomes increasingly challenging to businesses of all size, the importance of location-based marketing and commerce increases. … The Ad-to-Action Awards showcases the most innovative companies, products, solutions and campaigns in 10 different categories. TapClicks was named a finalist for the Attribution & Analytics category for innovative ways to create, target, traffic and measure advertising. The TapClicks suite of tools provide digital marketing professionals with an end-to-end solution for solving their reporting needs. … The winners of the Ad-to-Action awards will be announced as LSA16, the LSA’s annual event, in San Francisco on March 7-9, 2016. (SOURCE: TapClicks via press release)

Technology’s “Strategic Imperatives” = Marketing Brilliance: Yes, of course, smart thinking still produces inspired marketing. But it’s no longer enough. For true brilliance, digital marketers must embrace technology’s “strategic imperatives.” A set of technologies that now define and shape innovation—and, by association, digital marketing—namely analytics, big data, cloud computing, mobile, social media and security, have come to collectively be known as the “strategic imperatives.” For digital marketers, it’s most productive to think of the “strategic imperatives” as framing not only an enterprise’s strategic direction but also serving as the wellspring for its marketing and sales campaigns. … a 2016 digital marketers blueprint should be built on three “strategic imperatives:” 1) Data-driven customer engagement, 2) Mobile technology’s omnipresence, and 3) Monetizing metrics to measure social media. We’ve seen a lot of discussion in the media of these trends but here’s why and how to get there. (SOURCE: Chief Marketer)

GSMA publishes IoT security guidelines: The GSMA has published a set of security guidelines for service providers developing new Internet of Things (IoT) products and services. “The mobile telecommunications industry has a long history of providing secure products and services to their customers and would like to share their security expertise with IoT service providers,” the GSMA says. (SOURCE: NFC World+)

Encryption, EMV, and NFC: New superheroes of payments fraud: This is article 2 of 3 in the series “Tokenization, Encryption, EMV, and Biometrics: The New Superheroes of Payment Fraud.” In Part 1, we reviewed tokenization, its background, and how it is now being used in mobile wallets. It is also good to gain a deeper understanding of EMV and its use of encryption to protect payment credentials. EMV is a technology and a solution designed to prevent card counterfeit fraud. (SOURCE: The Payments Review)

Axis Bank to launch wearables for its customers in collaboration with GOQii: Axis Bank has tied up with fitness firm GOQii to collaborate on wearable devices for its customers. Rajiv Anand, head-retail banking, Axis Bank, told ET that this would be the first MasterCard certified wearable device. “The device will allow consumers to make NFC payments, and will come loaded with the regular fitness related features like the coach etc that the GOQii bands come with.” This would be rolled out over the next few months. The bank will be working at incentivising its customers to adopt a healthier lifestyle. For instance walking a certain number of steps every week could earn you loyalty points which can be redeemed at a later stage. “We already offer wealth management services to our clients – we now want to offer health management as well,” said Anand. (SOURCE: The Economic Times, India)

Mobeam Revamps Beep’nGo Wallet and Coupon App: On Wednesday, Mobeam — a leader in mobile barcode beaming technology — announced its latest version of its popular Beep’nGo App for Android. Beep’nGo, which currently has over 10 million installs, has just added significant design improvements to its 4.0 iteration allowing customers to use retail loyalty cards, gift cards and barcode coupons on their smartphone at checkout scanners for the first time. So what’s new exactly? Design improvements include location-based card reminders for faster checkout and an enhanced “Add Card” setup process.  Separate destinations for cards and offers are now easily accessible under the new menu drawer. Beepn’Go offers and coupons have a polished new look, favorites engine for “For Me” personalized offers, an upgraded search and navigation system, and numerous additional offer discovery enhancements. (SOURCE: Mobile Marketing Watch)

Seamless Distribution AB: SEQR signs agreement with supermarket operator Lambrechts and strengthens position on Belgian market: SEQR has been live in Belgium since 2014 and has quickly become one of the company’s biggest markets. National grocery-, fastfood-, and pharmacy chains have already adopted the mobile payment solution and today, supermarket wholesaler and operator, Lambrechts signed an agreement with SEQR to integrate the payment platform in its operations. Lambrechts supplies and supports over 350 independent retailers, including 100 local supermarkets with the SPAR and SPAR Express logo and 50 neighborhood stores with the SUPRA or PRIMA brand. SEQR is already rolled out in stores and restaurants throughout Belgium. These include all McDonald’s restaurants and the chains owned by Belgium’s largest retail corporation Colruyt Group such as Okay, Bio-Planet, Spar, Dreamland and Dreambaby. … The SEQR business segment encompasses a payment platform with a financial ecosystem that enables payments in physical checkouts, online and on mobile devices, money transfers between users domestically and internationally, as well as an advertising platform and sales channel to be utilized by retailers. (SOURCE: SEQR via press release)

Singapore’s fastacash and Hungary’s Cellum join hands to expand reach: ‎The combined network of fastacash and Cellum will span over 200 million users across Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. Singapore-based social media and messenger-based online payment enabler fastacash and Budapest-based mobile wallet provider Cellum today announced a new strategic cooperation to accelerate their global growth. Under the new partnership, the two companies are set to combine both their service capabilities and global reach. With clients in banks, telecommunication operators and card scheme networks, Cellum is able to open new markets for fastacash in Japan and Thailand, as well as Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary. It also will offer fastacash its PCI DSS certified white label mobile wallet to its banking and non-financial partners. … Research firm Forrester estimates that by the end of 2016 there will be 4.8 billion people using mobile devices with 46 per cent of them being smartphones. IDC has also forecasted that mobile payments will rise 124 per cent from a little under US$500 billion in 2015 to over US$1 trillion in 2017. (SOURCE: fastacash and Cellum via press release)

ALE enhances OpenTouch Suite: Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) has made enhancements to its OpenTouch Suite for SMBs. The OmniPCX Office RCE release 10.2, the company’s end-to-end converged communication server at the core of the solution, offers more streamlined ordering processes and expanded mobility solutions such as bring your own device (BYOD). Another enhanced feature is the OpenTouch Conversation (OTCV) mobile application, that gives employees the same access to communication and collaboration services remotely from the office. As part of the OTCV, the OpenTouch Contactless Call Shift is a new capability available on Android smartphones. Using Near Field Communications (NFC), the technology allows employees to transfer active calls from one device to another, between a personal mobile or any company device of choice for business calls such as an office desk phone. Another enhanced capability is the SMB Sales Assistant that aims to increase and optimise sales for ALE’s business partners. (SOURCE: ARN)

New Health Division Launched to Meet Market Demand for Healthcare Communications and Population Health Campaigns: Enradius, a Baltimore-based digital marketing company that brings the power of geo-targeted advertising and digital marketing to businesses, announced the launch of Enradius Health, a division specializing in geo-targeted advertising for the Healthcare industry. Through targeting and retargeting technologies along with demographic data-layering, Enradius Health is driving impact for population health objectives and other healthcare communication initiatives. … Enradius Health was created to help health organizations reach individuals at a very personal level across multiple devices and, without logins or passwords. A de-identified approach to targeted, geo-based communications allows for singular interaction to some broad issues. (SOURCE: Enradius via press release)

Thinfilm Receives Order from Global FMCG Leader for NFC SpeedTap Tags: Thin Film Electronics ASA (“Thinfilm”) (OSE: THIN.OL; OTCQX: TFECY), a global leader in printed electronics and smart systems, today announced that it received a 5-figure unit order for NFC SpeedTap™ tags from a leading global FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) brand. The client is working closely with Thinfilm on conversion and product application initiatives, and discussions for future field trials are underway. The total sales volume of the client is several billion units annually. Including this purchase, Thinfilm has now received pilot orders for its NFC Solutions products from companies spanning several targeted verticals, including wine and spirits, specialty foods, pharmaceutical packaging, tobacco, and medical devices. The Company expects NFC-enabled products featuring Thinfilm’s OpenSense™ technology to reach the market in H1 2016. “Interest in our NFC Solutions product line continues to grow,” said Davor Sutija, Chief Executive Officer for Thinfilm. “This pilot order for NFC SpeedTap – from a leading global FMCG brand – highlights Thinfilm’s product diversity and is a testament to the Company’s ability to create NFC-based smart-packaging solutions for a range of vertical markets. The interest in NFC solutions from global leaders in the verticals we are targeting continues to be significant.” (SOURCE: Thinfilm via press release)

The World’s First NFC Tag That Gives Users Complete Control Over Their Smartphones: Tap Device is the name of today’s newest smartphone device designed to save people time and eliminate redundant routine tasks. This device is an elegant tag with a small NFC-enabled chip that can be used to tap and automate the phone. Consumers can setup profiles and customize the settings of android phones with just one tap – basically automating phone settings. Designed for Android phones, this tiny NFC chip can simply stick onto their coffee table, office desk or perhaps their car. With only a single tap, users can easily change their phone’s pre-configured phone settings and profiles. Using Tap Device, it is easy to control Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Data, Music, Sound, Display Brightness and even send a Text Message Hands-Free. … Tap Device is launching its product on Indiegogo on Feb 09th, 2016. (SOURCE: Tap Device via press release)

Wearable Smart Rings Supporting RFID And NFC Arrive At Adafruit For $45: Adafruit has this week announced the arrival of new wearable smart rings that supports both RFID and NFC communication allowing you to create projects that can wirelessly interact with your smartphone, tablet, PC, development boards and more. The range of smart ring jewellery is available from 17 mm up to 22 mm in diameter and are currently in stock and available to purchase directly from the Adafruit online store priced at $44.95. The wearable smart rings are equipped with a MiFare Ultralight C – NTAG 213 that offer 144 bytes of read/write memory and can be used to launch applications unlock your smartphone, control Arduino as well as many other applications. Adafruit explains a little more. (SOURCE: Geeky Gadgets)

The State of Digital Marketing: With several obvious trends standing out, determining the direction the digital marketing winds are blowing isn’t exactly rocket science. But the work of actually marketing a product or service sure feels as if it is. Despite the light-speed pace of advancing technology, plotting the launch and trajectory of an emarketing missile targeted at consumers is increasingly complicated. From improving the consumer experience and bypassing privacy filters to managing social media effectively and gathering meaningful analytics, industry professionals have a lot on their plates. But they’re also positioned to capitalize on a plethora of opportunities, courtesy of advanced tools and technologies, making the marketing endgame appear all the more enticing. … If the past year teaches us anything, it’s that change in the emarketing arena is inevitable-if not predictable. “Mobile commerce will continue to grow and make up a larger share of digital transactions,” says Gordon. “And wearable technology, the Internet of Things, and virtual-reality devices will gain more traction in 2016. …” (SOURCE: eContent Magazine)

ANZ launches Mobile Pay to allow customers to tap and pay: ANZ has launched Mobile Pay, a mobile payments app that allows customers the ability to tap and pay for purchases, and to make withdrawals at contactless-enabled ANZ ATMs. ANZ said Mobile Pay is available for download to customers with Android smartphones with a near-field communication (NFC) reader and running KitKat 4.4 or above. ANZ managing director of products and marketing Matt Boss said given that Android is a major player in the local smartphone market and Australians are prolific users of contactless payments, ANZ Mobile Pay will be a popular addition for many of its customers.”ANZ Mobile Pay delivers a payments solution for our customers to help them take full advantage of the rapidly changing digital environment we live in, including the ability to withdraw cash from contactless-enabled ANZ ATMs with a tap of their phone,” he said. The announcement comes as Australia’s major banks continue to sideline Apple Pay, with American Express being the only credit card that currently supports the platform in the country. (SOURCE: ZDNet)

Where are those beacons everyone is buzzing about? This map will show you: News organization WRAL experiments with audience targeting through a map that plots more than 100,000 beacons across the U.S. Want to know where beacons are deployed in the U.S.? Mobile marketing firm Reveal Mobile can help. Reveal Mobile has created a map—available to anyone who visits www.thebeaconmap.com—pinpointing the locations of more than 100,000 beacons across the country. Beacons are small pieces of hardware that can be placed anywhere and that use Bluetooth technology to send messages to nearby consumers’ smartphones. Besides publishing the map, which is continuously updated, Reveal Mobile is also using the beacon map to sell targeted audiences for advertisers, says Matthew Davis, vice president of marketing at Reveal Mobile. (SOURCE: Mobile Strategies 360)

Apple Pay in-app transactions rapidly expanding beyond NFC payment terminals: App developers are increasingly adopting Apple Pay as a fast, convenient way to enable purchases, often as an alternative to standing in line at a store’s cash register or manually entering in billing and shipping information. Apple Pay is often thought of as an alternative to swiping credit cards in stores (where it recently exceeded 2 million locations). However, Apple Pay acceptance within apps is also rapidly expanding—accelerated in part because it doesn’t require any special NFC hardware terminals, just a minor code update by developers.
A report by Ian Kar for Quartz highlighted Apple Pay’s use in apps as quietly making “serious progress in mobile commerce,” citing data from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster who described “an acceleration in the number of apps that accept Apple Pay” as having reached an “inflection point.” (SOURCE: Apple Insider)

This Car Lets You Fistbump to Unlock: In the dark ages, you had to use a key to lock and unlock your car doors. Just about every car now has a remote control on the key that lets you unlock or lock with the push of a button. But many modern cars don’t even need that. They sense the key on your person and usually use a button to do the lock or unlock function. That button does nothing if the key isn’t nearby. [Pierre Charlier] wanted that easy locking and unlocking, so he refitted his car with a Keyduino to allow entry with an NFC ring. What results is a very cool fistbump which convinces your car to unlock the door. Keyduinio is [Pierre’s] NFC-enabled project, but you can also use a more conventional Arduino with an NFC and relay shield. The demo also works with a smartphone if you’re not one for wearing an NFC ring. Going this round, he even shows how to make it work with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). (SOURCE: Hackaday)

Company creates card that holds medical information for quick access in emergency: Emergency Informational Online Technologies (EIO) has created the EIO card to allow quick access to people’s medical information for conditions like epilepsy, diabetes and dementia. The north-east England-based company intended the card to provide fast information in an emergency or to act as a memory aid for people. The card costs £4.99 and can be bought from the EIO website. It needs to be registered on thewebsite by entering the activation code that appears on the card. People can then add as much or as little information on the card as they want. This can include any medical conditions, medication information, emergency contacts, next of kin, GP details and any emergency information. The information can be updated at any time free of charge. The card contains a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip like those that allow bankcards to make contactless payments. This chip can be scanned by any NFC enabled smart phone to access the information. (SOURCE: Epilepsy Today UK)

Report: 3 billion mobile loyalty cards by 2020: A new study from Juniper Research has found that more than 3 billion loyalty cards will operate as mobile-only or be integrated into mobile apps by 2020, up from 1.4 billion last year. The new research – “Mobile & Online Coupons: Redemption, Loyalty & Consumer Engagement 2015-2020” – found that brands and retailers are increasingly responding to consumer demand for mobile integration, with many now offering customers the opportunity to store their loyalty cards within a dedicated digital wallet.
… The convergence of mobile devices, mobile wallets, and loyalty will transform the loyalty industry in ways more profound than at any time since the industry’s modern birth in the early 1980s. As illustrated in the research, disparate levels of engagement  will continue to plague the marketers, but it’s not a new problem—most loyalty programmes that fail do so because of poor strategy, flawed financial models and projections, and inability to use customer data to drive relationship growth. Consumers will demand convergence—but they’ll also demand relevance. Marketers who fail to deliver on either count will find themselves also-rans in the battle for customer loyalty. (SOURCE: The Wise Marketer)

Technologies that are Changing the Perspective of Photography: Ten years ago old fashioned digital cameras were used for clicking pictures leaving your hope to the luck of getting a satisfactory picture when later connected to a laptop or a computer. The picture remained a secret unless and until connected to a device. But in recent years there have been technologically-permeated amazements, which have opened up new opportunities in photography, sharing and even revenue for professional photographers. The new and improved cameras, including mid-range cameras, with its Wi-Fi, Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth chips have broadened photography’s applications, with connected cameras that enable watching live footage or control your snapper with smartphones. Let’s take a look at how connected cameras are shaping the world of photography, and how they might evolve again to alter the way we take and share photos forever. (SOURCE: Silicon India)

Super Bowl fans explore Bay Area with BLE beacons: Attendees at Super Bowl 50 over the weekend were notified of related events, points of interest and prizes on their smartphones via a mobile app and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons installed in locations across the San Francisco Bay Area. The beacons were deployed by Gimbal. (SOURCE: NFC World+)

Cash by Optus adds contactless bands and stickers to reach beyond Android owners: Consumers using Cash by Optus — the prepaid NFC SIM-based payments service launched by Australian mobile network operator Optus in November 2014 — can now make payments using a contactless wristband or a sticker attached to their mobile phone. “Cash by Optus payment accessories use NFC and Visa PayWave technology and allow prepaid and postpaid mobile customers to turn their compatible smartphones into a quick and easy way to make contactless purchases under $100,” the carrier says. “New and existing Optus mobile customers can sign up for Cash by Optus by jumping online and following the simple instructions. All they need is an Optus prepaid or postpaid mobile account, a compatible smartphone and the Cash by Optus app.” Depending on their device, customers can then choose from a Cash by Optus Band, Cash by Optus Sticker or the original Cash by Optus SIM card that enables an NFC-equipped Android device to make payments at the point of sale. (SOURCE: NFC World+)

Pagaré Looks To Add NFC Payments To Pebble Time: The Pebble Time is a smartwatch which is gaining considerable attention of late thanks to its increasing level of functionality and appeal. Not to mention, the smart devices on offer from Pebble are ones which are seeing a good deal of support with their latest update arriving only last week. In fact, this increased level of functionality is not just one which has come from Pebble as a number of companies are also looking to get in on the action by bringing accessories for devices like the Pebble Time. Accessories which look to improve the overall experience. A prime example of this came last month when TYLT took to Kickstarter to launch a campaign for their Pebble Time focused TYLT VÜ Pulse. An accessory which when attached will offer the Pebble Time Qi wireless charging and additional fitness tracking features. (SOURCE: Android Headlines)

GlobalPlatform Publishes New White Paper to Simplify Deployment of Contactless Payment: GlobalPlatform has published a white paper that offers a detailed framework which would help deploy a service offered by the industry association using near field communication (NFC) enabled mobile devices. The white paper titled “End-to-End Simplified Service Management Framework: Streamlining Payment Service Management Using GlobalPlatform Technologies” would provide a broad template for relevant specifications from both GlobalPlatform and some of the other industry organizations currently working to create a standardized specifications for contactless payment using the NFC technology. (SOURCE: Payment Week)

Fit Pay USD3.1m seed funding enables contactless payment platform for wearables: Fit Pay, Inc. has closed USD3.1m in seed funding led by Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), the company said. Fit Pay has developed a payment enablement platform that allows wearable device manufacturers to seamlessly add contactless payment capabilities to their products. Fit Pay´s payment platform uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, combined with card network tokenization to interact with point-of-sale terminals at retail locations. NFC, in place at an estimated nine million retail locations worldwide, is becoming a ubiquitous POS payment acceptance technology. Fit Pay´s Trusted Payment Manager platform allows contactless payment capabilities on a wide range of wearable devices. Fit Pay´s future applications may include transit, secure authentication, and other secure identification use cases. Fit Pay completed San Francisco-based Plug and Play Tech Center´s FinTech Accelerator Program last fall. Plug and Play participated in this seed-funding round as well. In December, Fit Pay was selected from among hundreds of participants as the winner of the Comerica Bank and RocketSpace USD50,000 Wearable FinTech Startup Challenge. Based in San Francisco, California, Fit Pay, Inc. is led by former CyberSource and Visa, Inc. executives with more than 20 years of payment platform and identity authentication domain expertise. (SOURCE: Financial News)

What Is Proximity Based Marketing?: As mobile continues to hit the mainstream, our approaches to information discovery are rapidly evolving along with our buying habits. A recent conducted by IDC Research and YP found that only 36% of online desktop and mobile users initiated a local business search on a traditional search engine. Moreover, approximately 80% of study participants said they own smartphones, a figure which roughly mirrors overall US smartphone penetration. Today’s smartphone-toting consumers are relying on new ways to find local businesses, which may include recommendations from social networks, customer reviews social-local apps like Yelp, retargeted ads from business websites previously visited, and increasingly, opt-in push notifications containing mobile coupons and promotions triggered by beacons and geofences from nearby businesses. Welcome to the new era of proximity based marketing. (SOURCE: Business 2 Community)

The Explosion of Mobile “Pay” Products & What it Means for Mobile Marketing: Exiting a taxi, checking out at a pharmacy, picking up dinner from the local deli — Pay is everywhere. It seems that nearly every day a new “Pay” product is being introduced into the marketplace. The term “Pay” was made popular by Apple, when it rolled out its mobile payment solution, Apple Pay, with the release of the iPhone 6. Not to be outdone, Samsung soon followed with Samsung Pay. Google, who was really the first company to try their hand at a mobile wallet, branded their own solution as … you guessed it, Android Pay. Then came Chase Pay, Walmart Pay, LG Pay… the list goes on. So what does this mean for mobile marketing? (SOURCE: NFC Bootcamp via Blue Bite)

TechMahindra launches sound-based contactless payments, launches MoboMoney, near field communication-enabled merchant payment network: Tech Mahindra announced the launch of a near field communication (NFC)-enabled merchant payment network called MoboMoney. The newly launched digital payment network has tied up with ToneTag for the use of its technology. This will allow consumers to pay using sound.NFC lets users make contactless transactions. So, phones can be flashed at point of sale devices, a PIN entered and the transaction is completed. Tonetag’s technology, the company said, enables contactless payments through sound-waves, which makes the it independent of platforms such as smartphones, EDC machines, POS devices. … The technology is also compatible with legacy POS terminals so the 1.2 million will not need an upgrade, a statement said. (SOURCE: Business Standard)

How mobile is changing retail: Retailers need mobile. It is a fact we learned through the 2015 holiday season, yet still many retailers are stuck in 2013 where mobile was a nice feature, but an unnecessary one. One expert explains how mobile continues to change retail. How can retailers improve the customer experience between online, mobile and in-store? Retailers need to dedicate equal attention and resources to every customer channel. Every interaction that customers have with a retailer influences their view of the brand. It’s not siloed by online, mobile or in-store, and retailers must think about creating a cohesive experience, rather than disparate ones for different channels. To improve the omni-channel customer experience, retailers need to engage customers through the entire lifecycle, including after they buy, and use the unique characteristics of each channel to improve the overall customer experience. (SOURCE: BizReport)

NFC Forum Welcomes Public to “Tap Into NFC” Seminar and Product Showcase in Tokyo, Feb. 9: Event Highlights Newest Developments and Innovations During Week-long Members Meeting. The NFC Forum announced that it will hold a “Tap Into NFC” Seminar and Product Showcase in Tokyo, from 3:00 pm to 7:30 pm on February 9 at the Hilton Tokyo Odaiba hotel. The purpose of the event is to educate attendees on recent developments in NFC technology, create a place for NFC business people to share ideas, and provide an opportunity for networking. Members of the public are invited to attend; advance registration is required. “The Seminar and Product Showcase offer people in the NFC ecosystem a rare opportunity to view product innovations, meet experts from NFC Forum member companies, and exchange ideas.” (SOURCE: NFC Forum via press release)

Beanpole introduces smart backpacks and accessories: Beanpole, a fashion unit of Samsung C&T, has fused technology with fashion to launch a range of tech-savvy “smart accessories,” the company said. The Beanpole Accessories range includes a number of backpacks, wallets, necklace-type card wallets and key rings, among others, coupled with smart functions that utilize near-field communication technology and a smartphone app. A tiny NFC chip has been inserted into the right strap of Beanpole’s smart backpack, which connects to the Beanpole Accessories smartphone app and is priced at 258,000 won ($212). Users can preset their favorite smartphone functions and applications on the app, enabling users to activate their most-used smartphone apps simply by putting their smartphones by the strap. The necklace card wallet, 118,000 won, is designed to recognize just one card, despite being capable of storing multiple cards, when touching the wallet onto a T-Money machine. (SOURCE: The Korea Herald)

Accenture: Shoppers’ mobile expectations not being met: More shoppers are demanding more retail services via mobile, yet retailers are failing to meet these expectations, according to new research from Accenture. The number of consumers heading out to shop armed with a mobile device grew 10% in the twelve months to December 2015 – from 36% to 40%. It’s not surprising, then, to learn that the number of shoppers demanding more retail services via their mobile device also grew. For example, the number of shoppers who want real-time in-store promotions grew from 40% in 2014 to 47% by the end of 2015 and today nearly a third (32%) of shoppers want the ability to scan products in-store, up from 27% in 2014. Yet, according to Accenture’s research, just 7% of retailers currently have the ability to send real-time in-store promotions and 17% to provide scanning capabilities. (SOURCE: BizReport)

AH Primetime: Is “Mobile First” Dying?: These days, we’re doing more than ever on the small screen. The devices in our pockets are capable of more than ever before, from gaming to streaming and even small-scale network administration, to a certain extent. Understandably, this led to a shift toward mobile consumption for just about everything and a huge focus on mobile software development. This movement came to be known as “mobile first”. It didn’t last long, however; although PC sales fell briefly and the tablet market never really recovered, recent analytics are showing a trend toward a resurgence of the large-screened variety. Android TV is becoming a viable platform as Smart TVs begin to pick up key features of smartphones, especially in the security department. On top of this, laptop and desktop PCs, Chromebook and otherwise, are seeing consumer markets begin to come back to them as they evolve to the point that their power and flexibility now outweighs their mobile counterparts’ convenience bonus. … This big shift is very telling; the data seems to indicate that people were fascinated with mobile, infatuated with the fantasy of performing all their daily computing from a single device they could keep on them at all times, but when reality poked a hole in their logic, they turned back to the much more powerful and purpose-driven traditional platforms en masse and with gusto. In part, it was because the mobile space just wasn’t quite ready to meet that kind of demand and is still moving slowly toward that goal. So what, then, does this mean for marketers and software developers? As Intercom’s VP of Product Paul Adams put it, “Information via screens not devices — this is the key idea.” (SOURCE: Android Headlines)

Do’s, don’ts in deploying a location-based marketing strategy: Knowing your customer is critical when it comes to delivering a rewarding retail customer experience, but understanding where and when to drive marketing to that consumer is just as crucial. Yet more often than not retailers discover a slew of challenges when it comes to understanding, deploying and attaining return-on-investment from location-based marketing. One primary hurdle is clearly defining the role and expected success metrics for mobile location efforts, explains Brandon Starkoff, VP, product marketing at xAd. “As a result, campaigns aren’t set up correctly, and as a result, measurement is not proving a clear read on impact against the business,” Starkoff said. The beauty of mobile location is the ability to ‘connect the dots’ between the online and offline world, he noted. “In doing so, there are capabilities to literally connect with customers with very specific messages as they move through the physical world. Following this physical path to purchase offers the opportunity to increase consideration, intent and actual purchase of specific products,” he said, adding retailers need to understand what can be achieved and how the right data sources will lead to meaningful outcomes. (SOURCE: Retail Customer Experience)

Square’s New Chip Card and NFC Readers Land in Apple Retail Stores: Payments technology company Square expanded the reach of its new credit card readers Tuesday, debuting the new hardware for sale at all Apple retail locations in the U.S. and on Apple’s web store. The readers, which cost $49, are also available for sale on Square’s website. In 2015, Apple and Square partnered to develop a hardware reader that lets consumers use Apple’s mobile payments technology, Apple Pay, in stores with a Square register point-of-sale system. Apple Pay allows shoppers with iOS devices to use their phone to pay for goods and services in the U.S., U.K., and a number of other countries, at point-of-sale locations equipped with near field communication technology, known as NFC. Square’s new reader is also integrated for chip-enabled cards, or EMV, which is a more technical standard for credit cards that includes computer chips to authenticate card transactions. (SOURCE: Fortune)

The State of Mobile Content: Apple is widely credited with introducing the smartphone, and there is no doubt that its iPhone took the world by storm in 2007. But IBM actually had the first smartphone–the Simon Personal Communicator–which was introduced in 1992. … A lot has happened in the mobile marketing landscape since 2007. It’s a trend that just keeps on trending and one that marketers are wise to stay on top of, says Naresh Vissa, the author of Fifty Shades of Marketing: Whip Your Business Into Shape & Dominate Your Competition and the founder and CEO of Krish Media & Marketing. … “An entire industry worth trillions of dollars has burgeoned,” says Vissa. “Some mobile-dependent applications-like photo messaging network Snapchat and ridesharing service Uber-have valuations above $25 billion each.” Complementary products-such as payment processors, Bluetooth devices, and smartwatches-are creating additional new markets, he says. “As people get more comfortable with their smartphones, and as developers improve the ease of use, mobile will be where business is done. Already, payments, banking, dating, communication, networking, art, writing, recording, and more are on mobile platforms,” says Vissa. (SOURCE: E Content Magazine)

Improve Data-Logging Techniques with the Latest IoT Products: Data-logging equipment for monitoring and recording events isn’t new. In fact, various forms of it date back decades ago. The earliest data-logging process involved manually recorded sensor readings that were then plotted on graph paper. Strip-chart recorders arrived next; they plotted sensor readings with ink on printed charts. Today, virtually all data logging is electronic. Innovative electronic developments over the years have significantly advanced data-logging techniques. Now, products targeting the growing Internet of Things (IoT) movement are finding their way into next-generation data-logging equipment. Actually, you could define data logging as one segment of the huge industrial IoT market. Here’s a review of data-logging fundamentals and some examples of new devices being adopted into the IoT fold. (SOURCE: Electronic Design)

The ultimate mobile opportunity: The consumer in-app mindset: As more global consumers adopt and integrate mobile apps into their daily lives, marketers are wise to understand how they orient and interact in this environment. “In-app” is the most powerful mobile marketing environment we have. This highly receptive state offers unique ways for brands to effectively and directly engage consumers. There are two avenues for the marketer: advertising to the receptive in-app consumer while they are engaged in that environment and/or developing a branded app to build loyalty. (SOURCE: iMedia Connection)

Canada’s TTAG Systems to Present Direct Response Marketing and NFC Solutions at Mobile World Congress 2016: Two cutting-edge Canadian technology solutions will be showcased at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona to help companies worldwide to better interact with connected-consumers – driving greater engagement and brand awareness. As part of Ontario’s mission to Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, February 22-25, 2016, organized by The International Trade Branch, Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, TTAG Systems’ team will showcase two of its most disruptive software solutions: textLab Pro Enterprise Marketing Platform and its NFC Asset Tracking Solution. … NFC Asset Tracking Solution is a multipurpose solution that enables companies to track their assets and mobile employee performance inexpensively and with high-precision using NFC tags, mobile application and web management dashboard. Equipped with industrial grade NFC tags that are durable and can easily face varying weather conditions and rough handling, the solution is ideal for a wide range of industries, including but not limited to property management, cleaning, supply chain, and shipping. (SOURCE: TTAG Systems Corporation via press release)

PassKit’s CherryPie Brings Mobile Engagement Automation to the Masses: A tasty new experience for modern day Don Drapers and Peggy Olsons. The world’s first automated mobile wallet marketing solution. PassKit is excited to announce the latest addition to their mobile engagement toolkit: CherryPie. CherryPie is a simple yet powerful mobile marketing automation platform, meticulously designed and crafted for marketers and agencies to accelerate customer engagement in the real world. CherryPie enables businesses to drive physical world transactions/revenue and stimulate sustainable loyalty by leveraging native mobile wallet applications, beacon technology, and more. With CherryPie, marketers can create automated engagement campaigns to acquire customers online that drive customer action offline – all without help from IT. This allows brands to engage with customers at every stage of the customer journey with beacon technology, location based alerts, and push messages when and where they matter the most. And with the ability to receive online, real-time, real-world analytics, marketers are now equipped with actionable data and metrics to further optimize their mobile campaigns. (SOURCE: PassKit via press release)

Near Field Communication (NFC) Market Analysis, Size, Share, Growth To 2020: Grand View Research, Inc.: The global near field communication (NFC) market will witness considerable growth from 2014 to 2020. Large-scale penetration of technology and high adoption of smartphones, tablet PCs, etc. will drive this growth. Affordable smartphones are aplenty in today’s world. M-commerce is fast gaining prominence. NFC is preferred over other technologies owing to its ability to provide secured transactions. It is also faster, with data transfer speeds up to ten times more. High requirement of speedy, safe financial transactions coupled with flexibility and convenience would augment future growth. Diverse devices like laptops, cars, washing machines, cookers, vending machines, etc. incorporate this technology. The market also stands to benefit from imminent global benchmark standardization by the GSMA and NFC forum. Direct mail marketing can make use of NFC technology to deliver informative content through an embedded chip. Social media engagement applications will also fuel demand for this technology. Main growth challenges include poor awareness levels, underdeveloped infrastructure and high development costs. (SOURCE: Grand View Research via press release)

Mobile Phone Usage Predictions for 2016: What You Need to Know: Based on information found on the year-end Forrester Predictions Brief, almost 5 billion people all over the world are in possession of a mobile phone. In fact, approximately 50% of the global population has smartphone subscriptions, particularly in Asia and Africa. This is excellent news for online casinos and other gaming outlets because this suggests that they should see a boost in revenue on their mobile gaming platforms. Also, consumers will start to demand a more streamlined experience on their smartphones and tablets. European and American consumers will start to catch up with their Asian counterparts, in terms of how they interact with businesses on mobile.  All of this will cause brands to pay attention, resulting in a better overall user experience. … Forrest also predicts that over 25% of companies will change how they use their mobile devices in terms of customer interaction. In addition, these companies are also expected to get better at tracking and maximizing mobile, whether users are offline or online. … Tablet and mobile commerce will hit $92 billion in the European Union and $142 billion in the United States. These figures represent 32 and 38 percent respectively. New technology, trust, and convenience will drive the adoption of digital wallets like Android Pay and Apple Pay. (SOURCE: PC Tech Magazine)

Mobivity Marks Major Milestone: Mobivity Holdings Corp., a mobile marketing and customer engagement platform, announced this week that they have surpassed 1 billion SmartTransACTIONS. “One billion represents a significant milestone for our clients and for our company. Each month, millions of Americans are experiencing SmartTransACTIONS,” said Dennis Becker, Mobivity’s CEO. “It’s important for our clients,” Becker adds, “because we are providing a more customized and personalized experience for their customers, while unlocking critical and timely SmartDATA from their Point of Sale to help determine the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. We’re excited because we expect that number to grow rapidly as our current customers expand and we win more brands.” Today, the company notes in a release shared with MMW, brands and marketers are looking for a return on investment (ROI) from their marketing tactics. However, calculating ROI requires a way to attribute a result to a specific action or activity. The result is more brands are directing traditional marketing dollars to digital channels, with the hope of finding an attribution model that works. (SOURCE: Mobile Marketing Watch)

Survey: Smartwatch interest growing: When it comes to wearable tech the smartwatch is the latest gadget to gain notoriety, and yet, we haven’t seen scores of consumers knocking down retailers’ doors trying to get them. That, according to one new survey, could change. Kentico Software recently polled consumers about their interest in smartwatches and found consumer interest is high, but cost may be slowing them down. According to the results 60% say they’d ‘like to eventually’ own a smartwatch with 36% planning a purchase in the next year. Most report the cost of smartwatches has kept the devices in stores rather than on consumers’ wrists. As for what consumers want in a smartwatch: email and texting abilities (46% want) top the list. The key is that consumers want to be able to text and email without needing their smartphone to be within reach. Just over one-third (38%) want to be able to make voice and video calls via their watches and 33% say they’d like access to maps/directions or to track their diet/fitness. Other interesting findings from the survey include: 87% would like to ‘test drive’ a smartwatch prior to purchase; 70% say they would most often use a smartwatch for personal rather than business; 71% say they ‘are okay’ with ‘some’ smartwatch advertising; 23% say ads on smartwatches should be limited to pre-approved advertisers. (SOURCE: BizReport)

IoT Data Analytics & Visualization Summit Commences Feb. 9th in Palo Alto: Companies and developers involved in IoT are gearing up for next week’s IoT Data Analytics & Visualization Summit. According to our friends at MAW, the Summit is the first dedicated event to tackle and showcase “the ways in which companies can evolve their strategy and focus from just connecting things to capturing insights in order to achieve true value from IoT.” … “With billions of sensors collecting trillions of data points, the Internet of Things will amass data on a scale never before seen,” say Summit organizers. “Only when we analyze that data can we truly release the value of the internet of things.” MAW notes that GE has forecast that convergence of machines, data, and analytics will become a $200 billion global industry over the next three years, much of it devoted to the growing IoT sector. (SOURCE: Mobiile Marketing Watch)

Beacons Get Their Silver Screen Moment: While beacons are getting plenty of attention behind the scenes, there’s no doubt that they’ve ceded the spotlight to other disruptive and emerging technologies. The story of the tortoise and the hare hasn’t endured this long without holding some truth to it, though, and some are willing to bet that a change of scenery for beacons could unlock their potential in a way traditional retail environs haven’t. … It’s an ingenious application of location-based marketing. Instead of limiting push notification triggers to just a user’s location, Mobiquity and Screenvision will send moviegoers additional content based on the film they just saw as soon as the house lights come up. From a merchandising perspective, this could be massive. Imagine blasting a packed theater full of Star Wars fans with discounts for toys of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber or “The Force Awakens” costumes. When the end credits roll and consumers reach the moment when they’re at their hungriest for more content, beacons could be the solution to plugging them into another stream for maximum engagement. (SOURCE: PYMNTS.com)

Signagelive incorporates NFC into digital signage platform: Signagelive has incorporated Near Field Communications (NFC) tags and Beacon technology into its SoC (System on Chip) and HTML5 software. These latest enhancements will be launched at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) taking place at the RAI, Amsterdam from 9-12 February. Signagelive can be found in Hall 8 on booth no 8-K318. Signagelive will also be demonstrating its cloud-based digital signage platform on a number of partner booths, including Samsung and LG Electronics located in Halls 1 and 11 respectively. At this year’s event the Signagelive booth will be laid out to replicate a selection of real world user cases for digital signage, including the retail market, to demonstrate how applications such as assistive Point of Sale (PoS) and triggered live TV can enhance the retail experience by encouraging interaction with displayed content. (SOURCE: Inavate)

Apple Pay and Android Pay to get NFC ATM support, expected to hit US shores this year: Mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Android Pay may get contactless NFC support via ATM cards sometime this year. A survey by the Verge has shown that contactless ATMs has been available in countries like Spain or Canada for quite a while, but not in the US.  Thanks to mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Android Pay, US banks have begun warming up to the idea of offering contactless ATM to their clients.  The Verge was able to confirm that financial institutions like Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo are rolling out NFC-equipped ATMs. Among all the banks mentioned only Chase has been confirmed of having an actual timeline for the installation of their NFC-equipped ATMs. (SOURCE: Lawyer Herald)

British Singer Beatie Wolfe Uses NFC, Other Technology to Bring Her Music Closer to Fans: In one sense, Beatie Wolfe is a pretty traditional singer-songwriter who loves things like vinyl records and the old-school liner notes that accompanied those recordings. … But Wolfe is also a pioneer in finding ways to use technology to connect with fans in new ways. Her first album was released in 2013 as an iPhone app that had a companion experience that allowed Wolfe to appear in 3-D before fans when placed into a special plastic device with mirrors. Her latest album, “Montagu Square,” is available as a CD or digital download, but she’s also worked to make it accessible through a series of high-tech business cards from Moo that can be read by a smartphone using Near Field Communication — the same technology that the iPhone uses for Apple Pay. Keeping that tangibility but also making it engaging to the tech audience, “that was something I was really interested in,” she said. (SOURCE: re/code)

Samsung Gear S2 Gets New Colors And Also Works With Samsung Pay And Apple Devices: Samsung Gear S2 is one of the front runners of the smartwatch game especially sicne it works with Samsung Pay, but the cherry on top is that it also is compatible with Apple devices. … Apart from getting an upgrade in it’s design, Samsung recently annoucned that their smartwatch would be compatible with iOS later this year. This is a surprising development considering the heated competition between the two companies. A recent advertisment released by Samsung featured comedian Hannibal Buress as he goes into a restaurant and use mobile payment to pay for the food he ordere, as reported by Apple Insider.  While the staff aren’t willing to recieve it since they don’t have any devices that work with Apple Pay, Buress shows them that he’s talking about Samsung Pay. Not only does he prove that mobile payments done with his smartphone are easy but he also noted that, unlike Apple Pay, Samsung Pay “kind of works everywhere.” (SOURCE: Youth Health Magazine)

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