March 2016 Near Field Communication Industry News

U.S. Federal Reserve reports steady rise in mobile banking adoption: The Federal Reserve Board has released its fifth annual report on how consumers use mobile devices for mobile banking and payments and it shows a steady rise in adoption. The Federal Reserve Board’s ‘Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2016’ report reveals that more than three-quarters (77%) of adults in the U.S. made mobile payments last year, up from 71% in 2014. Among those who use mobile banking, 54% placed the channel as one of the three most important ways they interact with their bank after online (65%) and ATM (62%). Mobile banking came above branch tellers (51%). The use of mobile payments continues to be less than mobile banking. Just over a quarter (28%) of smartphone users made a mobile payment in 2015, the most common types being paying bills, purchasing physical or digital items remotely or paying for goods in-store. (SOURCE: BizReport)

Salesforce: It’s Raining ROI for Digital Marketers: The mandate to produce ROI from digital marketing campaigns caused nightmares for some only two and a half years ago. Today marketers have sweet ROI dreams, at least according to the latest marketing report from Salesforce. In its just released 2016 State of Marketing Report, the San Francisco-based CRM giant reports that most marketers are happily squeezing ROI from digital marketing campaigns. … 77 percent of marketers who use mobile as part of their marketing strategy said mobile actively generates ROI, a 147 percent increase. Location-based mobile tracking (149 percent increase), mobile push notifications (145 percent increase), mobile text messaging (111 percent increase) and mobile applications (98 percent increase) have all been deployed by marketers more frequently this year. (SOURCE: CMS Wire)

Innercell Unveils Video and Music Enabled NFC Smart T-shirt at MIT: Wearable technology, in the form of a Nikola Tesla T-shirt, is now available in the MIT campus museum. Tap the sleeve with a NFC smartphone to instantly stream a historical video of one of the most under-represented men in all of modern scientific history. California-based start-up Innercell, Inc., in collaboration with online retailer UnderRepped, announced today the launch of a technology platform designed to wirelessly connect common consumer products such as clothing, appliances and housewares to the Internet of Things. Available today, in the MIT campus museum gift shop, is a T-shirt depicting the image of inventor and physicist, Nikola Tesla. Labeling on the shirt instructs the wearer to ‘tap’ the sleeve with a NFC-enabled mobile device to activate a special historical video and other content that has been permanently embedded within the garment. Fans of the T-shirt demonstrate how easy and quick the technology performs: A washable NFC tag embedded within the sleeve serves as a hot spot. Place a mobile phone within a few centimeters of the tag and, instantly, a short video begins telling the story of Nikola Tesla. (SOURCE: Innercell, Inc. via press release)

CPI leading consortium to develop world class Near-field Communication packaging capability for the UK: The three year project is titled ‘SCOPE’ and is building the manufacturing capability, capacity and skills required to commercialise and position the UK as a world leader in the production of smart products with printed sensors – a fast growing billion dollar global market. The Internet of Things describes a world in which everyday physical objects are able to communicate and exchange data with other connected devices through wireless technologies such as RFID and NFC. NFC is an emerging technology which constitutes an NFC chip, embedded or applied onto an object such as product packaging and then activated by interaction with an NFC reader or a Smartphone. Data can be gathered and transferred between the two devices when held in close proximity. The production of NFC tags using printable electronics means in the future NFC tags will be able to be produced in a high volume, low cost manner with conformable geometries. Printed NFC will be able to be used for a host of applications such as providing product differentiation on fast moving consumer goods, tracking or indicating the authenticity of a product in logistics, anti- tampering controls which also provides data management information. However for the these products to reach the retailer, technology innovation is needed to develop the supply chain that facilitates the price points and market volumes industry needs for mass market adoption. The aim of SCOPE is to develop new processes, equipment and applications to enable the high-volume manufacturing (billions or even trillions) of printed electronic components that incorporate NFC. The project is providing a technology platform to develop new, innovative and novel functionalities and applications, alongside the building of specialist skills and capabilities. A key emphasis is to apply highly automated and high speed integration techniques to meet target costs of <1cent per NFC tag. (SOURCE: Centre for Process Innovation via press release)

Wearable or implantable? Would you face the needle?: A colleague recently attended the 2016 ‘March of the Droids’ (a conference, or gathering, for Android enthusiasts) and one of the presentations was about embedded NFC Chips – the history, their use, the size of them, how they would be implanted. I’ve been around long enough to see the entrance of many new technologies to the market place.  They all take time to evolve before they are ready for the mass consumer market; biometrics, voice recognition, RFID chips (not embedded in humans), and even video conferencing all had major issues to overcome regarding capability, consumer functionality, physical size and of course the cost – moving from prohibitively expensive to cost models that work for mass market adoption.  Are we now entering the early adopter’s stage for implantable NFC tags into consumers rather than solely academics, government and military operations? (SOURCE: FinExtra)

NFC Market To Reach $21.84 Billion By 2020: Near-field communication (NFC) powers most forms of mobile payments, an industry that has exploded in recent years. The NFC market is growing in lock step with the payments market, as more retailers and consumers incorporate mobile payments into their regular shopping habits. Overall, the NFC market is expected to reach $21.84 billion by 2020, or a 17.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to new data from research firm Markets and Markets. NFC is used in wearable tech, phones, cameras and many Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices. It works by creating a magnetic field to allow devices to communicate with each other when they are within ten centimeters of each other. The retail industry currently dominates the NFC market—in 2014, the retail industry accounted for 60% of the total market. Many retail owners support the use of NFC point-of-sale terminals that will allow customers to pay by tapping a device. (SOURCE: MediaPost)

How Big Data is Shaping the Way We Conceive and Practice Mobile Marketing?: The overwhelming growth of digital data is continuing to emerge as the most promising horizon for techies, analysts, and marketers. A major portion of this data is created by mobile devices; and, as these handheld gadgets continue to take a bigger role in our digital, social, and interpersonal activities, the mobile-generated data will help create more valuable services for mobile consumers. Thus, as the producers of the highest volumes of mobile data interactions they also have to opportunity to benefit most from Big Data Analytics. The Canadian bank CIBC predicted that there will be more than 50x the growth in data volumes over the next decade. IDC has offered a similar forecast, predicting that there will be a 44-fold increase in the volume of data between 2009 and 2020. While a majority of digital interactions happen now on the mobile web and mobile apps, mobile will play a considerably bigger role in this data explosion and data-driven analytics well into the future. In conformity with the role of mobile devices in generating data, the impact of a data-driven strategy and analytics on business conversion and revenue will also be huge. While the market is continuing to expand and new technologies are constantly harnessing it, data is playing the role of fuel for this diverse and robust information economy. Big Data will continue to remain “Big” for all kinds of digital operations. But, the biggest impact will be on mobile marketing. It will shape the way we conceive and practice business marketing and advertising. This blog post discusses why this is bound to happen and how it will turn out. (SOURCE: Dataversity)

NXP taps to foster China’s semiconductor usage market: “Tap-to-pay” is set to become new favorite as Apply Pay, Samsung Pay, Mi Pay and Huawei Pay have launched it in sequence to rival the nation’s mobile payment market. Taking Mi Pay, introduced by Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi in its new flagship Mi 5, as an example, although the Near Field Communication (NFC) solution provided by NXP Semiconductors remains at the early stage for extensive adoption, the collaboration has shown the company’s customer-oriented localization strategy and the ability to resources integration. Being one of the main driving forces behind the scenes of the NFC and secure element solutions, the Dutch manufacturer’s technologies are optimally designed to address specific transit use cases and ensure a seamless consumer experience using augmented Radio Frequency performance and security. Zheng Li, NXP’s senior vice-president and Greater China president, sat down with China Daily to call for more cross-border collaborations between upstream and downstream of the supply chain in the semiconductor industry and elaborate on the implementation footprints of NXP’s localization strategies. “By 2020, the shipment volume of smartphones with NFC function will reach to 2.2 billion units,” said Zheng, citing statistics from market consulting institute IHS Technology. (SOURCE: China Daily)

Phone payments for transport clear way for mobile wallets, say analysts: SINGAPORE – The push to enable more commuters to pay transport fares with their mobile phones using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology has potential for mass adoption, given that all they need is a new SIM card and minimal infrastructure, analysts said. Nevertheless, the analysts noted that the take-up rate could be boosted further if those who typically use NFC-linked credit cards for payments, or those who have iPhones, are willing to make the switch. And as the market gets bigger, the possibilities for NFC payment become greater. (SOURCE: Today Online)

RealTimeRental Turns NFC Chip Technology into New Real Estate Marketing Opportunity: Tap Tags ™, powered by RealTimeRental, use state of the art NFC chip technology to bring your information directly to your customers’ phones. The internet has already reshaped the way the Real Estate industry conducts business. In order to remain competitive in today’s Real Estate market, it is imperative that Real Estate professionals take the steps to make their business model mobile friendly. Keeping the current technological trends in mind, RealTimeRental developed Tap Tags™ as a simple way for real estate professionals to embrace mobile technology. “With just a simple tap of a phone on the Tap Tag™, your clients will be looking at your message right on their NFC capable smartphone,” said Joseph Testa, co-founder RealTimeRental. … “Tap tags™ eliminate the need for real estate agents to print out physical copies of property sheets for interested buyers. Simply place a Tap Tag™ inside of a property, and interested parties can immediately get access to property information and photos right on their Smartphone,” said Testa. In addition to placing Tap Tags™ inside to virtually anywhere, water proof Tap Tags™ are also available to put outside a property or on listing signs. (SOURCE: via press release)

StarHub launches NFC transit SIM for contactless payment: It’s waiving the $5 EZ-Link purse fee, too. StarHub has announced it is also launching near field communication (NFC) transit SIM cards that will allow equip subscribers’ mobile devices with fare payment capabilities. Starting 2 April, StarHub customers can purchase the new NFC transit SIM at any StarHub outlet. StarHub notes its NFC transit SIM costs the same as a regular SIM. A new $37.45 SIM costs a one-time fee of $37.45, while a SIM replacement costs $26.75. As a launch promotion, the telco company is waiving the NFC EZ-Link purse fee of $5 until further notice. (SOURCE: Singapore Business Review)

Study: Few Marketers Using Mobile Marketing Strategies: Although marketers know mobile is a strategic imperative, the vast majority still fail to strategically integrate it into their marketing mix, according to fresh findings from Forrester. Only 13% of marketers say they strategically integrate mobile systematically. Not surprisingly, therefore, only 27% of marketers surveyed by Forrester said the ROI of their mobile marketing campaigns was profitable, while a staggering 67% said they simply cannot measure it. In addition, only 20% of marketers presently have the budget they need for mobile initiatives, by Forrester’s reckoning. The majority of marketers still have limited full-time resources dedicated to mobile, and only 10% consider their companies to be mobile-savvy organizations. (SOURCE: MediaPost)

Verve Expands Internationally Powered by Strong U.S. Growth: Industry veteran, Ian James, digital media innovator, to lead Verve in Europe and Asia. Verve [], the leader in location-based mobile marketing, today announced the opening of its London office as the base for its international business. Verve’s U.S. revenue growth has far outpaced the market over the past several years. The leadership team sees significant opportunity for Verve’s unique product suite in the European and Asian markets.”Fueled by our accelerated growth in the U.S., we are extremely bullish on bringing our robust capabilities and strategic perspectives to mobile marketers across the global arena,” said Verve CEO Nada Stirratt. “In the U.K., we are seeing marketers and publishers embracing Verve’s proven, smarter, data-driven approach to mobile marketing, and we are only at the beginning of this surging global demand curve.” (SOURCE: Verve via press release)

Adobe Is The Newest Claimant To Beacon’s In-Store Crown: Adobe is a household name to people in dozens of industries. Not only has its photo-processing software managed to endure the age of digital piracy, but a large part of Web and mobile entertainment options runs off its Flash product. In short, few can claim the pedigree that Adobe does when it comes to digital product support. And it’s that exact legacy that may have some retailers rejoicing and Adobe’s competitors fretting that it’s now entering the battle for in-store marketing supremacy. Fast Company has the story of Adobe’s “Store of the Future” — a proof-of-concept brick-and-mortar storefront in Las Vegas designed to highlight how retailers are attempting to drag in-store shopping into the digital age, as well as how Adobe thinks it can do it all better. Beacons, of course, feature as a lynchpin of the store’s infrastructure, pushing targeted notifications and offers to appropriate shoppers, but the tech that might put the “future” in Adobe’s “Store of the Future” isn’t location-based marketing sensors but rather RFID tags and what Adobe and IoT startup and partner Twyst are calling “Smart Internet Connected Bags.” (SOURCE:

The Case for the Driverless Car: Driverless cars are an emotive issue. Personally, I’m a big fan, partly because they seem so much safer than leaving humans in control. But mainly because, faced with the prospect of a 5- or 6-hour drive up the M40 and M6 to see my family up North on a Friday evening, as I am a few times a year, the idea of sitting back and doing something more interesting or relaxing than staring at white lines and bumpers for 300 miles just seems to me like a no-brainer. But not everyone you talk to agrees. In fact, the main reasons people tell me they don’t like the idea of driverless cars are exactly the same as the reasons I do like them. Firstly, they say, they can’t be safer than having a human in control, can they? And secondly, they say, I actually enjoy driving. Why would I want to deny myself the pleasure? (SOURCE: Mobile Marketing Magazine)

NEXTEP SYSTEMS to Deploy oti TRIO Readers at Drive Thru Kiosks in North America: On Track Innovations Ltd. (oti) (NASDAQ: OTIV), a global provider of near field communication (NFC) and cashless payment systems, has partnered with NEXTEP SYSTEMS, the Foodservice Technology Company™, to equip drive thru kiosks with oti’s SATURN 6500 TRIO reader. oti’s selection by NEXTEP SYSTEMS followed an extensive evaluation and testing process of oti’s TRIO reader, a modular payment device that supports up to three cashless payment interfaces. oti designed the TRIO reader for installation in vending and self-serve machines to allow cashless payment with magnetic payment cards, mobile (Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay), EMV chip contact, and EMV contactless payment cards (NFC). NEXTEP SYSTEMS is the inventor of ‘The World’s Fastest Drive Thru™’, a touchscreen kiosk specifically developed for the Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) drive thru to speed production and reduce communication errors. Instead of shouting at a speaker, drive thru guests are guided by an intuitive touch interface that makes the most complicated orders simple. NEXTEP kiosks make drive-thru orders faster, more accurate, and more profitable than traditional systems. With oti’s SATURN 6500 TRIO reader, QSR guests will be able to securely and conveniently pay at the kiosk with a credit card, NFC-enabled mobile device or EMV contactless payment card. (SOURCE: On Track Innovations Ltd. via press release)

Marketing campaigns for a device-centered future: The Year of Mobile came and went without anyone agreeing on when it actually occurred. But regardless, very few marketers will dispute that mobile is the new all-encompassing reality. Mobile users continue to turn to their mobile devices for more of their daily activities and searches. This ubiquitous use of personal devices, coupled with emerging technology trends, means marketers now have the opportunity to realize the long-desired goal of reaching the right person at the right time in the right place. Of course, that is easy to say – and marketers like to say it a lot. But as any marketer can also attest, it is not necessarily simple to do. Before you can achieve this advertising utopia, you must first have a deeper understanding of mobile technology, and the still nascent applications of it that can better connect brands directly to their desired consumers. Let us take a look at the mobile-device-centered future and the emerging technologies that hold the greatest potential for campaigns. (SOURCE: Luxury Daily)

How Smartcard Coin Bounced Back From Near Failure to Partner with Visa and Mastercard: What to do if your product launch goes awry? Coin, a smartcard startup, had that experience after much fanfare and an impressive crowdfunding campaign.  The YC-backed company raised $50,000 in less than an hour.  The concept — to store all your credit cards, membership cards, and gift cards on a single card — quickly accrued a fan following. But the product didn’t deliver; the first iteration was plagued with problems.  Last year, Coin bounced back with version 2.0.  Turns out that a failed launch isn’t the end of a company. (SOURCE: Forbes)

Purple Deck Media and Scotland Campus Launch Capital Campaign Partnership: Making History with First-Ever Use of Near Field Communication (NFC) in Fundraising Campaign Materials. For the first time ever, near field communication (NFC) is being used in fundraising materials. Imagine being able to touch your phone to a booklet and instantly see additional information, a video and/or progress of the campaign. The project, spearheaded by Purple Deck Media and Scotland Campus, enables the Scotland Campus to measure the amount of people who are interacting with campaign materials and gather additional information. It also allows for the information to be changed and updated in real time, providing the ability for Scotland Campus to dynamically control the content delivery in-house. NFC technology is gaining a foothold in the United States. Prior to NFC, the use of clunky QR codes were an option, but these do not offer the elegant, dynamic experience of NFC. Purple Deck Media’s patent-pending NFC cloud management solution, TapLive, provides the ability for the Scotland Campus to gather metrics on their campaign materials, update information instantly, and provide a futuristic and simple information delivery experience. With thousands of capital campaign material being distributed, the Scotland Campus has complete control over information and delivery. All hand-held, paper-based materials are static. By partnering with Purple Deck Media, these types of materials are now becoming an interactive and dynamic promotional tool, which bridges the physical with the virtual world. (SOURCE: Purple Deck Media via press release)

Shake – Giving Android and Apple Pay a Run for their Money: Shake is an Android mobile app which lets you pay for items at any retail location supporting contactless payment with NFC (Near Field Communication). These days almost any point of sale terminal supports contactless payments either via NFC or RFID. Unlike it’s competitors Android Pay and Apple Pay, Shake uses Bitcoin as it’s underlying currency and lets users top up their Shake wallet using Bitcoin. … Forbes released an article back in 2014 detailing the top perils of Apple Pay. Three of the perils are: Apple Pay is a solution looking for a problem, There is no economic advantage to retailers, and it has unproven security. The Shake app doesn’t share these same perils because it provides an actual solution to an existing problem – integrating Bitcoin payments with existing POS terminals. Currently, the best solution available to retailers looking to adopt Bitcoin is to use the Bitpay app on a tablet. However, that creates a need to educate the staff about handling Bitcoin payments, and creates an extra layer of overhead that business usually don’t want to deal with. By integrating Bitcoin payments with existing POS terminals Shake solves this problem by outsourcing all the integration and the heavy lifting to the app. (SOURCE: The Merkle)

Smartphone to control home devices: In the near future, senior citizens may be able to operate electronic gadgets such as fans, lights, the television or air-conditioner, using their smartphones. A research project funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) is being led by Monash University Malaysia to assist the elderly, disabled and people with motor disabilities in their daily lives. This multi-discipline research is conducted by researchers from Monash University Malaysia, Multimedia University (Malaysia), City University of Hong Kong and Fudan University (China), and hopes to make use of smartphones and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Project leader Dr Teh Pei Lee, Assoc Prof of School of Business, Monash University Malaysia, says: “There is an increasing societal concern for the health and well-being of older adults. In this project, the research team has developed an application that utilises NFC smartphones to realise ‘tap-to-connect’ interaction, replacing the need for multiple hand-held controllers for different devices.” (SOURCE: Star2)

Historic Library Gets a Beacon Makeover: At the Bavarian State Library, a recently installed network of 245 Bluetooth beacons guides visitors to 90 points of interest, including reading rooms, exhibits, copy machines, artwork, cafeteria and rest rooms. Each day, more than 3,000 people visit the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (BSB)—the Bavarian State Library—based in Munich, Germany. The building, which has historic significance, is home to 9.81 million books, as well as a number of special-interest reading rooms containing tens of thousands of reference volumes, maps and images related to such topics as Eastern Europe, the Orient and Bavarian culture. It is a grand environment, but one that can be rather tricky to navigate.”Even I, who knows the building quite well, struggle from time to time to try to find, say, the Eastern Europe reading room. It is on the third floor, but can’t be reached by the main staircase,” says Markus Bokowsky, co-owner of Bokowsky + Laymann. Last month, the Munich-based marketing firm completed an installation of 245 Bluetooth beacons that work in conjunction with a smartphone-based wayfinding and information app called BSB Navigator. “The idea is to help [visitors] find their way more quickly and more comfortably, and without relying on library staff to guide them.” (SOURCE: RFID Journal)

Mobile consumer behavior reshaping digital commerce: If you think your mobile commerce strategy involves just a slight revamping of traditional sales and marketing plans, think again. According to a Forrester Research report, 82% of U.S. consumers make purchasing decisions when in a store and 56% use smartphones to check prices online at least “most of the time.” Further, data from the Retail Info Systems and Cognizant report “Cutting through the Chaos in the Age of ‘Mobile Me,'” found that mobile devices aren’t just expediting shopping behavior — they’re changing it. The key takeaways from the survey of 5,000 consumers: Mobile devices are overtaking traditional desktop-based e-commerce, and mobile consumer behavior differs significantly from that of traditional digital consumers. At the same time, mobile customers aren’t a homogenous block — their preferences vary according to their own demographics, preferences — sometimes known as buyer personas. The report’s key findings include the following … (SOURCE: TechTarget SearchCRM)

Report: Apple Pay moving to the mobile web, could give big boost to m-commerce: Retailers should be doing everything they can to increase mobile transactions. According to a report yesterday, fingerprint-enabled Apple Pay is coming to mobile websites. One popular angle on this news is that the move will potentially cut into PayPal’s leadership position; however, the more important potential impact is the acceleration of mobile commerce more broadly. Re/code reported that Apple Pay for mobile sites will be available later this year, before holiday 2016: The service will be available to shoppers using the Safari browser on models of iPhones and iPads that possess Apple’s TouchID fingerprint technology, these people said. Apple has also considered making the service available on Apple laptops and desktops, too, though it’s not clear if the company will launch that capability. One of the big reasons that mobile commerce significantly lags mobile traffic is payment friction. According to GfK research, mobile devices account for only three percent of transactions in the US, though seven percent from younger mobile users. A 2015 US Federal Reserve study on mobile payments and banking found that “22 percent of those with access to a mobile phone reported that they made a mobile payment in the last 12 months.” Those not using mobile payments/banking identified security concerns as the main reason why. (SOURCE: MarketingLand)

Clorox explores proximity marketing: Clorox, the FMCG manufacturer, is putting the shopper perspective first as it seeks to add value with proximity marketing tools like in-store beacons and connected products for the home. Sarah Ortman, Associate Director/Marketing Communications at The Clorox Co., discussed this subject at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2016. More specifically, she argued that attempts to tap proximity marketing – which aims to provide hyper-targeted and relevant messaging tailored to a consumer’s precise location – must begin from the view of the customer, not the brand. “When we put our plans together, I try to put myself in the shoes of a consumer or a shopper. You’re not always ready to pick up that unit in store: the drink, or a box of cereal, or the canister of wipes,” she said. (For more, including further tips for marketers, read Warc’s exclusive report: Clorox gets close to consumers with proximity marketing.) Beacons are a case in point. These small pieces of hardware can engage in automated two-way communications with a smartphone to discover if an individual has a particular app open and is opted in to receive brand messages. (SOURCE: WARC)

Loyalty Card Overload – Veoo Has a Solution for That!: Whilst perusing the Life & Style pages of a national daily newspaper this past weekend, my guilty pleasure, I came across an interesting column entitled ‘What’s Hot, What’s Not.’ Contained within was a list of reader highlights from the past seven days, juxtaposed with a choice selection of reader pains, the most notable of which was ‘Loyalty card overload – why hasn’t someone invented a decent simple app yet to put them all in one place digitally?’ Good question, I thought. I have read countless articles voicing the cries of derision from exasperated consumers who are at their wits’ end with the thought of trying to cram yet more plastic loyalty cards into an already overstretched wallet; or, worse still, the paper coupons which always seem to be buried at the bottom of the oversized bag belonging to the consumer one space ahead of you in the supermarket queue. The fact of the matter is that consumers want, and are beginning to demand, fully integrated loyalty and discount programs linked directly to their mobile devices. It just makes sense. With 80% of UK adults now owning a smartphone and the average user having 42 apps installed, 10 of which are used every single day, the digital revolution has encompassed almost every sinew of everyday business and consumer life. In fact, the exponential growth of mobile and the plethora of mobile apps that are revolutionizing the way in which consumers can pay for goods and services has led numerous industry insiders, such as ourselves at Veoo, to proclaim the almost imminent redundancy of the once seemly essential physical wallet. However, despite this development, many retailers and supermarkets are yet to shed the shackles of reluctance and traverse into the 21st century with a fully digital-first approach to loyalty cards. (SOURCE: Mobile Marketing Watch)

Netclearance seeks foothold in mobile payments: San Diego company’s technology is deployed in Scandinavia, eyes U.S. Does a small San Diego startup stand a chance in the mobile payment market competing against the likes of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay? Netclearance Chief Executive David Fernandez thinks so, based on his company’s success last year in Scandinavia, where Netclearance partnered with Danske Bank to get its mobile payment technology deployed in 30,000 retailers ranging from grocery stores to Starbucks. “The merchants love it because they get over a 50 percent reduction in transaction fees, and they get their money in milliseconds,” said Fernandez, who formerly worked at Qualcomm and Motorola Mobility. “It’s a game changer.” That remains to be seen. Mobile payments have been slow to take hold, particularly in the U.S., because most payment machines here lack the wireless capabilities to link cash registers to smartphones. … Founded in 2011, Netclearance has only a handful of employees and has raised about $400,000 from angel investors. Fernandez said its technology is compatible with 200 cash registers to date. Through Danske Bank, the company expects to further expand into Norway and Finland this year. It also has a pilot project a bank in Mexico involving payments at vending machines. (SOURCE: San Diego Tribune)

EMV vs. Mobile Wallet: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?: Both options come at a cost; should one be put ahead of the other? Fuel retailers across the United States are in the midst of upgrading their gas-pump credit-card readers to accept EMV (EuroPay, MasterCard, Visa) “chip-and-pin” cards due to the upcoming liability shift. As of October 2017, fuel retailers may be liable for payment fraud unless they have upgraded their gas-pump hardware from old magnetic-stripe readers to EMV credit- and debit-card readers. Gasoline retailers facing this investment expense are wise to ask, “Is this it for payment upgrades?” The answer is no; the mobile wallet is right behind EMV as a payment method that consumers will use. … This begs the question: Should retailers skip EMV upgrades and go straight to the mobile wallet, which uses near-field-communication (NFC) wireless technology and requires additional payment hardware on the dispenser? In upgrading a gas dispenser to EMV, the standard factory dispenser equipment on brands such as Gilbarco Encore and Wayne Ovation does not include an NFC reader as a standard feature, but rather as an extra-cost option. In consideration of adding NFC payment early, consider that one of the benefits of contactless NFC technology is that it has few moving parts. Customers don’t swipe their card or insert it into a slot; they simply wave or tap their EMV card or smartphone in front of the sensor. There are four payment upgrade options. Let’s take a look at each. (SOURCE:

Global Digital Payments to Reach $3.6 Trillion this Year: A new study from Juniper Research  found that the annual transaction value of online, mobile and contactless payments will reach $3.6 trillion this year, up from $3 trillion in 2015, resulting in a 20 percent increase. The new research, Digital Payment Strategies: Online, Mobile and Contactless 2016–2020, argued that the recent surge in contactless payments would continue, fueled by further scaling up of infrastructure rollout and increased card payment limits in key markets. It also anticipated that, while cards will account for 90 percent of contactless payments over the next five years, the deployment of near field communications (NFC) payments by high-profile players, such as Apple and Samsung, would increase consumer awareness and usage of smartphones to fulfil transactions. (SOURCE: SDC Executive)

How Retailers Can Bring Home the Beacons: Though they had a limited impact on last year’s holiday season, some expect 2016 to be a breakthrough year for beacons. Perhaps the most bullish proponent has been BI Intelligence, which believes the in-store devices will influence $40 billion in retail sales, a 10X jump over last year. Yet, a quarter into this year it’s safe to say that they’re still not the shining light that some have promised. How can retailers jump start the technology. Here’s my thought: Beacons will become standard when retailers use them to identify their businesses in the same fashion they publish their address or phone number. Here’s why: Beacons provide a very accurate signal about location information. In contrast to other location technologies that can provide an app information about the user’s location, the presence of a beacon can also trigger an app to perform a specific action. … Can beacons become a standard? Last year Facebook started rolling out a free beacon program for selected businesses, mainly to deliver relevant place tips in the users’ feeds. If Yelp, Foursquare, OpenTable or any other platform would like to follow through, will the merchants need to install and maintain a different beacon for every app? NO. Beacons will become a standard when the industry starts treating them as standard. The win-win scenario will have the following components, 1) Any merchant that wants to have basic beacon benefits will have to invest a few dollars in the hardware. 2) In the same fashion apps have a place for claimed businesses to update their information, business owners will be able to input their beacon ID. That’s it! Now it is the customer’s decision to turn on features like automatic review viewing, easy check-ins, Facebook tips, automatic coffee orders, or any other action apps added to their functionality and the users desire to enable in their device. (SOURCE: Street Fight Magazine)

NFC Forum to Unveil VISIONFC Event in June at Dallas Meeting: Industry Luminaries and Thought Leaders to Share NFC Vision; Call for Speakers Announced. The NFC Forum today unveiled its first VISIONFC event, scheduled for June 15 to 17, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. VISIONFC is a series of sessions during the NFC Forum Member Meeting focused on the future direction of Near Field Communication technology (NFC). VISIONFC participants will have the chance to help chart the course of NFC innovation for the next decade and present to industry luminaries from the world’s leading mobile device, semiconductor, payment, consumer electronics manufacturers, and solution providers including Google, Apple, Sony, Samsung, MasterCard, VISA and others. Over 100 of the world’s most influential NFC thought leaders will attend VISIONFC to present and debate their vision for NFC. Day and evening sessions are scheduled. A VISIONFC technology outlook report is planned based on the event and speaker presentations. (SOURCE: NFC Forum via press release)

Will My Next Smartphone Still Work With My Current Car’s Bluetooth System?: Because technology changes so rapidly, we hesitate to answer with an unequivocal “Yes,” but we feel safe in saying that Bluetooth will remain the most common form of wireless connectivity for the foreseeable future. Its prevalence — especially among expensive products such as cars — will induce phone makers to continue supporting it. Bottom line: You shouldn’t have to buy a new car the next time you acquire a new phone to retain hands-free talking, audio streaming and other functions you enjoy now. Other technologies such as near field communication and Wi-Fi Direct are chipping away at Bluetooth’s dominance. Bluetooth currently offers key advantages over both rivals. One is that it has greater range than NFC (at least 30 feet versus about 2 inches), and it uses far less energy than Wi-Fi Direct. The latter, though, provides even greater range and much faster data speeds, so as time goes on — and users devour ever-increasing amounts of data — it is sure to become more popular. Many phones already have NFC and Wi-Fi Direct in addition to Bluetooth, and more cars are likely to have more than one technology for wireless communication. The 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan, for example, has Bluetooth and recently introduced NFC. The different technologies can complement each other and work together, so having one doesn’t exclude the others. Additionally, automakers are working feverishly to make future vehicles more updatable, so the day may come where compatibility is in their hands. Currently, it’s not. (SOURCE:

A boatload of money to be spent on securing PCs, IoT and mobile devices: A new report forecasts $655 billion will be spent on securing PCs, IoT and mobile devices between now and 2020.”In brief, our methodology includes looking at the current cost of securing systems, examining executives survey responses to how much they are planning to budget on cybersecurity in the future, and looking at the changing digital landscape to account for increased areas of cybersecurity spending,” says John Greenough, a senior research analyst for BI Intelligence at Business Insider. BI breaks down the forecasted spending as follows: $386 billion will be spent on securing PCs; $172 billion will be spent on securing IoT devices; $113 billion will be spent on securing mobile devices. (SOURCE: CSO Online)

NSA, Scanbuy Partner to Deliver Innovative Mobile Couponing Service in 400 New York Supermarkets: New Technology will revolutionize shopping for small businesses and consumers alike;15% of dCoupon Proceeds Will Benefit Community Programs Via NSA Cares. The National Supermarket Association (NSA), representing the interests of independent supermarkets owners in New York and other U.S. urban cities, together with Scanbuy, Inc., the global leader in mobile marketing solutions, today announced the launching of dCoupon. The innovative mobile couponing service gives manufacturers the ability to create redeemable digital coupons for a whole new audience—the 2 million NSA urban supermarket consumers. Mobile coupons will be obtained from brands and redeemed through consumers’ mobile devices at checkout counters in neighborhood bodegas, grocery stores and supermarkets. dCoupon is a scalable mobile coupon management and redemption service designed to enable stores and brands of any size to embrace mobile couponing like never before. Tagged by Scanbuy as a “disruptive technology,” dCoupon was created to address the best interests of brands, retailers and consumers. For the first time, any brand has the opportunity to create and distribute an unlimited number of coupon campaigns, select participating retailers and personalize mobile coupons. Most importantly, dCoupon enables brands to track attribution of coupons from distribution type to acquisition and redemption—while only paying for redeemed coupons. This fundamental shift in today’s coupon ecosystem gives brands more control over spend and greater visibility into true return on investment of advertising campaigns. (SOURCE: The National Supermarket Association and Scanbuy via press release)

FlexStr8 Announces NFC Temperature Logger for Cold Chain Monitoring: Flexstr8 has launched a new product: a smart label that provides a complete temperature history of your perishable goods, that is disposable and thin enough to be easily integrated into packaging. Cold chain logistics play an increasingly important role in transportation of products in the biopharmaceuticals, chemical, and the agricultural industries. To be effective, safe, & profitable, these products need to be monitored throughout the cold chain cycle. “Current temperature loggers are expensive, bulky, and have poor battery life. Furthermore, most data loggers are built under the assumption that they will be reused”, says Eric Casavant, Head of Product Development for Flexstr8. “However, many customers stated that they rarely get their data loggers back after shipment, prompting us to make an inexpensive disposable logger.” FlexStr8 has developed a cost effective, long lasting, intelligent, and disposable smart label with an exceptional lifespan (1 year+ depending on the logging rate) and a large memory (28 KB allowing 14000 measurements). This is coupled to an internal accurate temperature sensor (default +/- 0.5C) with a range of -20⁰ C to 50⁰ C. The internal time reference offers accountability and traceability across the entire logistics chain of exposure. Communication with the tag is done through Near Field Communication (NFC), a quickly growing wireless communication technology that is now available on most mobile devices sold worldwide. “Accurate temperature logging and time stamping allows detailed analysis across the increasingly complex cold chain supply”, adds Ralph Roessler, President of FlexStr8, Inc., ” This allows corrections to be made and liability assigned. The free FlexStr8 android app turns the label on or off, allows the log interval to be set (as short as every 5 seconds and as long as every 10 hours), and allows temperature limits to be set. Logged data is graphically displayed and can be dumped to device memory, uploaded to the cloud, and/or emailed for further analysis. (SOURCE: FlexStr8 via press release)

The cyborgs are here: how to merge digital and biological identities: Bio implants will soon be able to house our keys, wallets, and our whole lives – all within our own flesh. Maya Shwayder tried one out at the Cebit fair in Hanover. Do you want to be a cyborg? Come on let’s get chipped! Because what could possibly go wrong if you ask a man to take a large needle and insert a microchip into your hand? “It’s always a risk to decide to put something in your body,” concedes Amal Graafstra, of the western US city of Seattle, founder of “Dangerous Things,” a start-up dedicated to normalizing bio implants. He said he chose the company’s name because people kept asking him “but isn’t that dangerous?”“We are putting the power of cryptography and privacy in your hands,” Graafstra tells DW. Literally in your hands. The procedure that Graafstra and his German partner Stephen Kramer perform is a simple injection into the skin between the thumbs and forefinger. It’s similar to getting a vaccination, and safer, Graafstra said, than getting a piercing. Since 2005, when Graafstra began exploring bio implant technology, Dangerous Things says it has received zero complaints of breakages under the skin or other adverse side effects. Further, Graafstra is convinced bio implants and biohacking are the unavoidable way of the very near future. He himself has four chips: one is his right hand, two in his left, and one – the latest prototype – in his left arm. But why? It’s all about the interplay of security, access and identity, according to Graafstra. “In a human context, identifying someone means giving them access. Identity is about controlling access,” he said, whether that be access to bank accounts, smartphones, or simply buildings. Implants – and by extension becoming a “cyborg” – are all about merging your biological and digital identity. (SOURCE: Market Express)

New and Updated NFC Forum Technical Specifications Speed and Secure NFC Services: Enhanced Capabilities Make Peer-to-Peer Communication More Robust. The NFC Forum today announced the publication of one candidate and two adopted specifications, following approval by the Board of Directors. Available from the NFC Forum website, the specifications enhance the performance and security of NFC services. … “These specifications bring new levels of performance and security to NFC communications,” said Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum. “The specifications also help to ensure a great user experience across the broadest range of use cases. We thank our Technical Committee and Working Groups for their outstanding work.” (SOURCE: the NFC Forum via press release)

Five Flagship Features All Budget Phones Must Have Too: When it comes to Indian smartphone market, the budget segment is where all the action is. This is evident from the fact that most leading brands, as well as Chinese handset makers are tarketing the segment with th emost expensive of these phones being priced at around Rs. 20,000. This inevitably leads to a higher level of competition with brands bringing in advanced features so as to stay ahead in the rat race. … Here are five features that all manufactures should now think about bringing to phones of all budget segments because of how usefule they are. … 5. NFC. This is in tandem with Google Pay and fingerprint scanner. NFC happens to be the safest way to use Google Pay and considering it is the future of online transaction, it makes sense to offer NFC in budget smartphones. (SOURCE: Gadgets)

UK Trust in Smartphone Wallets Stuck in Stasis: Mobile payment usage inching up despite trust issues. According to February 2016 data from Marketing Sciences, PayPal is the most trusted brand among smartphone owners when it comes to wallet apps. However, the proportion of smartphone users in February 2016 who said they’d trust PayPal had barely moved since September 2015—it had dropped by a percentage point, in fact, to 40%. This pattern was similar across the gamut of wallet app providers, with some adding a percentage point, others losing one, and some not moving an inch. Only Visa saw any notable change—a rise of 4 percentage points. UK consumers remain cautious of this brave new world of mobile money, then. Or do they? Q4 2015 polling from Ipsos MORI, indicated that contactless smartphone payments were becoming an ever-more-popular technology among consumers in Great Britain. While 12% of respondents mightn’t seem like a particularly notable response rate, it represented a more than doubling of the proportion at the same time last year. (SOURCE: eMarketer)

Everlink Delivers DebitWear™ Contactless Payments Capabilities for the Connect First Credit Union AGM: Everlink Payment Services Inc. announced today that it has partnered with Connect First Credit Union to bring DebitWear™, their much talked about debit card form factor, to Connect First’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, March 16, 2016. DebitWear™ is a contactless-only, “wearable” debit card form factor that uses the same EMV and Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies currently being used for Interac Flash™ enabled cards. Using this technology as a promotion for contactless payments, Everlink provided customized DebitWear™ bands and active mini-tags that facilitate small value purchases anywhere Interac Flash™ is accepted. … HOW DEBITWEAR WORKS: With DebitWear™ cardholders continue to have the convenience of contactless payments, with all of the security and benefits of EMV, but without the need to insert a card and enter a PIN, which increases the speed and convenience without sacrificing security. DebitWear™ is simply the next evolution of the debit card. (SOURCE: Everlink via press release)

Digiwell’s implanted NFC chip lets you open doors with a wave of your hand: Patrick Kramer pulled back his sleeves and reached out an empty hand to offer his business card. His contact details appeared on the smartphone screen as if by magic, but it was a sufficiently advanced technology that made it happen. For an encore, he opened a locked door without a key. When anyone else touched the handle, it remained locked. Unlike other magicians, Kramer willingly explained the secret to the trick, which is so simple a dog could perform it: In the flesh between his left thumb and forefinger, he has inserted a tiny glass bead containing an NFC chip. (SOURCE: PC World)

The Hague trams start NFC payments: The public transport company in The Hague HTM, rail operator NS and the manager of the public transport card Translink announced the start of NFC payments on HTM trams. The first tests have started and a bigger pilot will launch later this year for travelers to pay for their journeys using NFC bank cards. The test will run for six months, after which the partners will look at expanding the service nationwide. By using the NFC chip in bank cards, customers no longer need to carry the separate OV public transport card for checking in and out. HTM said its mew NFC scanners are connected over UMTS mobile networks, offering real-time insight into transactions. (SOURCE: Telecompaper)

Why physical context is first on brands’ programmatic wish lists: With location-based technologies set to grow by double digits this year, a number of top brands are planning to allocate significant portions of their marketing budgets to Wi-Fi and GPS-based strategies, according to a report from the Location Based Marketing Association. The Global Location Trends Report highlights the undeniable rise of location-based technology as it pertains to brands’ customer-targeting techniques. With more countries set to deploy additional NFC technology this year, marketing executives are planning to invest more than 25 percent of their budgets into these strategies, with Wi-Fi and GPS taking the biggest slices. “The key takeaway, which is also the reason for the existence and rapid growth of a company like Unacast, is that physical context is the next frontier of programmatic advertising,” said Kjartan Slette, co-founder and chief operating officer of Unacast. “In a marketing world ripe with digital data, but with little understanding of which context a specific consumer exists in, location and proximity tech is the final piece in the puzzle. (SOURCE: Luxury Daily)

Suretap goes live with loyalty: Users of the Suretap NFC mobile wallet can now earn and redeem loyalty points as a result of a partnership between the Canadian mobile wallet provider and the Points loyalty network announced in November 2015. “More than 20 popular loyalty programs, including seven of the top 10 programs in Canada, are now available with Suretap,” the company says. “Suretap has almost 1m downloads.” Suretap launched as an independent company in June 2015. (SOURCE: NFC World+)

Challenger banks must strike the right balance between mobile and card: NFC mobile payments continue to grab headlines, but to really drive uptake and ensure full market coverage, combining contactless cards with next-gen mobile banking apps is surely the right way to go for 2016’s challenger banks, says Paul Underwood, MD of Thames Card Technology. Much has already been said about the opportunity for challenger banks to disrupt the traditional banking system. These next-gen financial institutions have a very different view of the world and are, in the main, also quite different from one another. What unites them, however, is the belief that they can deliver a more convenient, value-oriented and better contextualized banking experience than their bigger, traditional counterparts can. (SOURCE: Banking Technology)

Apple joins the fray of moneyless consumer buying: The debut of Apple Pay on the Chinese mainland last month created a “halo effect” across an industry chain that includes online and offline shoppers, Internet giants, smartphone vendors and payment services and device providers. Apple Inc’s wireless payment service is a catalyst to boosting acceptance and technology upgrades and to providing consumers a safe, easy alternative to traditional cash transactions, analysts said. (SOURCE: Shanghai Daily)

oti Launches “My Chip Buddy” Marketing Campaign to Promote Its New PayEnable Platform for Wearables and Devices: On Track Innovations Ltd. (oti) (NASDAQ: OTIV), a global provider of near field communication (NFC) and cashless payment systems, has launched its “My Chip Buddy” marketing campaign to promote the company’s new PayEnable™ platform. The PayEnable platform offers manufacturers and designers a simple and affordable way to convert their existing products into NFC-enabled devices and wearables. PayEnabled products support a variety of NFC applications and can be used to making payments wherever contactless payments are accepted. With its recently launched My Chip Buddy campaign, oti will actively promote the platform through a series of short videos. Each video will depict a chipmunk character accompanying a person, as he uses a PayEnabled device to perform a specific application or transaction. While the device is responsible for performing the application, the “chip buddy” is portrayed as the agent completing the action. (SOURCE: On Track Innovations via press release)

Consumers Have a Love Affair With Mobile Payments, Says New Study: The total global user base for mobile payments will rise from an estimated 689.99 million users in 2014 to 4.77 billion users in 2019, according to research from global analyst firm Ovum. Of the three segments covered in the new forecast—mobile commerce (m-commerce), person-to-person (P2P) mobile money transfers, and mobile proximity payments—m-commerce is the biggest in terms of users and transaction value. Ovum forecasts 452.78 million global m-commerce users in 2014, increasing to 2.07 billion users by 2019. … Mobile proximity payments are the smallest but fastest growing segment of the mobile payments market. The global user base for mobile proximity payments, both near field communication (NFC) and non-NFC, was 44.55 million in 2014. By 2019 there will be a total of 1.09 billion global mobile proximity payment users, of which 939.10 million will be NFC. The total transaction value of mobile proximity payments (both NFC and non-NFC) will grow from $4.77 billion in 2014 to $141.21 billion in 2019. (SOURCE: Information Management)

Growth of Proximity-Based Mobile Advertising Business Will Drive the Indoor LBS Market in SEA Through 2020, says Technavio: Technavio analysts forecast the indoor location-based services (LBS) market in SEA to reach USD 260.5 million by 2020, growing at a remarkable CAGR of almost 90%, according to their latest report. … The growing demand for smartphones has led to the introduction of new smartphone models in the market by OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and the development of rich and more compelling apps by application developers. Smartphone sales have increased tremendously, reaching approximately USD 2.8 billion in shipments in 2014. Also, due to mobile Internet that provides real-time information and context-aware services by leveraging cloud technology, highly personalized location services have been provided to retailers. These solutions help to maintain high customer engagement, thereby increasing retail sales. According to Rakesh Panda, a lead analyst at Technavio for M2M and connected devices, “Widespread installation of cellular and BLE technologies has the capability to deliver enhanced customer experiences and engagement. The high penetration of smartphones with increasing activity around mobile location-based services and location-enhanced marketing is driving the indoor LBS market growth.” … “Proximity-based mobile marketing and advertising provides numerous opportunities for businesses and benefits for customers to achieve a rich customer experience and engagement in shopping activities. Depending on the user’s location, the required information about the nearest restaurants, services, shopping malls, bars, and lounges is delivered to customers through the proximity marketing service,” says Rakesh. Proximity-based solutions provide not only relevant offers and information to customers but also help companies to track data regarding people at different venues and locations and discover common traffic patterns to understand and analyze consumer buying behavior. For example, hospitality venues use ‘customer flow’ data in order to determine the optimal cleaning schedules for restrooms and other areas. (SOURCE: Tech Navio via press relese)

Frost & Sullivan predicts surge in mobile wallet adoption: “The mobile wallet active user count is expected to surge in 2017 and 2018 due to the availability of mobile payment and mobile wallet-enabled smartphones,” says Frost & Sullivan’s Jean-Noël Georges. “Due to security concerns, some customers will opt for cloud-based solutions with the support of tokenization. “Furthermore, the rise of wearable technology for payment purposes will have a part to play in the development of innovative and disruptive mobile payment solutions. For now, most of the players in the payment value chain are just trying to be present in the mobile payment ecosystem as well.” (SOURCE: NFC World+)

Claim It! App Founder Got Idea for App While Living on the Streets: From homeless to launching an app that’s valued at millions of dollars, Ali Abdullah is an American success story. A new app is receiving acclaim as well as funding from some of the biggest names in finance and sports. The app is Claim It! and its founder, Ali Abdullah is also generating buzz. Abdullah’s story is a classic tale of American success—once homeless, the tech entrepreneur’s app has secured, to date, $2 million in funding. Claim It! is an app that lets users win prizes just by watching video ads. Starbucks, GoPro, and Red Bull are just a few of the companies with giveaways through Claim It! Users can win free products in a specific city or town by putting in a claim on that week’s offers and waiting for a drawing that takes place every Sunday. Winners have one week to pick up their prizes. … In a most recent giveaway campaign, Sprint is giving away selfie sticks and Mophie power charging packs to users who download Claim It! and then visit Sprint stores throughout New York City. Past special offers of this sort have included GoPro cameras, $100 J Crew gift cards, and Nike Air Jordans. Why would companies engage in this type of marketing? It’s all about reach, especially reaching millennials. For the generation that is always connected, mobile marketing is where many businesses are putting their ad dollars, particularly this sort of hyper-local marketing that uses proximity technology. (SOURCE: Black Enterprise)

NFC Forum Returns to TrackHack™ as Gold Sponsor for Proximity ID Hackathon: TrackHack: The Proximity ID Hackathon, the world’s first and only hackathon focused exclusively on proximity technologies like radio frequency identification (RFID), near field communication (NFC) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), announced today the return of The NFC Forum as a Gold sponsor for its global hackathon series focused on proximity ID technology solutions. The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association whose membership draws from all parts of the NFC ecosystem, works with member organizations to share development, application, and marketing expertise to develop the best possible solutions for advancing the use of Near Field Communication. (SOURCE: AccelerateNFC via press release)

Nymi Band first look: the wearable heartbeat authenticator for enterprise: Nymi wants to give simplified password protection with its wristband. The Nymi Band has made waves in the last few years for its heartbeat identification ability as a way to authenticate the wearer. It knows exactly who’s wearing it and then communicates the confirmed identity to any device with Bluetooth and NFC capabilities. Basically, it means no more remembering your computer password, phone PIN, security door credentials, office building key fobs and even your car keys. Sounds good, doesn’t it? However it won’t be heading to consumers anytime soon. The company has decided to focus on launching the wristband this mid-year only in the enterprise space instead of it’s original plan of bringing it to consumers. (SOURCE: Wareable)

Google’s new Hands Free payments app lets you pay with your voice: Google just debuted its new experimental mobile payments service that allows you to make purchases without ever touching your phone. The company is now testing Hands Free, its app which allows users to buy items solely with voice commands, in a few stores in the Bay Area. Rather than the Near Field Communication (NFC) chip that powers touch-to-pay platforms like Android Pay and Apple Pay, the iOS and Android app uses a combination of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and location services to detect when you’re at a store that is set up to for Hands Free. This also means you can use Hands Free even if your smartphone doesn’t support NFC payments. … The payments, which Google first introduced last year at its I/O Developers Conference, is still very much an experiment but one that could represent “what the future of mobile payments could look like,” according to Google. While Hands Free is only available at a few McDonald’s and Papa John’s locations in the Bay Area to start, Google notes it’s already seen widespread adoption of Android Pay, its NFC-based payments system it debuted last year. The company says it’s been averaging about 1.5 million registrations a month and that the payments are already supported at more than 2 million locations. (SOURCE: Mashable)

Big Data Improves Response to Humanitarian Crises: Big Data can improve the response to humanitarian crises by enabling earlier detection and distributing warnings to potentially affected groups. Data services like Mobile Money are also transforming response, according to the World Food Programme’s Pierre Guillaume Wielezynski. These findings were revealed during a panel discussion on Humanitarian Connectivity and the Mobile Industry which took place during Mobile World Congress 2016. Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, CEO, South Asia at Axiata Group, one of the signatories of the GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter, outlined Axiata’s four stage national plan for improving mobile operators’ responses to humanitarian catastrophes and crises. … Jacob Korenblum of Souktel reminded everyone that “Even though communities are affected by crisis, people are still people, they are still mobile users, they still have the same needs and desires that someone sitting in this room has. They want to listen to music, take photos, do social, in fact it’s a way of coping with the crisis surrounding them.” A striking example of how mobile technology is transforming humanitarian crisis response was provided by Pierre Guillaume Wielezynski of the World Food Programme (WFP). Where in past disasters, responders such as the WFP needed to focus on sourcing and delivering food supplies, with population movement tracking provided by mobile technology and big data analytics, it is now possible to locate the places where food supplies are available and to deliver messages directing people to them. Moreover, WFP is able to provide the means for people to purchase available food supplies themselves with mobile money, rather than going through the process of purchasing food on behalf of stricken communities and delivering it to them. The dual benefits of this data and communications driven strategy are that it reduces dependency and encourages communities to be proactive in the recovery process, while increasing the numbers of people and the speed at which WPF is able to help. (SOURCE: Developing Telecoms)

Unacast Partners With Opera to Let Marketers Retarget Consumers Using Beacon Data: Beacon data provider Unacast has announced a new partnership with mobile advertising and marketing platform Opera Mediaworks that will allow advertisers to segment and retarget consumers based on what places they have recently visited. The partnership potentially represents a shift from the GPS data that advertisers have previously relied upon for recent location (which only works when users are outdoors and actively using their mobile devices) and toward more granular beacon data in profile creation and retargeting. The partnership gives Opera Mediaworks clients access to Unacast’s “real-world indentity” profiles that are created from the aggregated beacon data of its 43 partners — and it potentially allows advertisers to make their messages more timely and more personalized to the user. While beacons have been used largely to target consumers with in-store messaging, opening up their data to marketers is a little like having a “real-world cookie”— allowing them to develop an understanding of the consumer’s habits and interest beyond the confines of a single store. … Walle says that Unacast aggregates data for partners representing roughly 30% of currently deployed beacons, giving the company a wide reach into different locations around the world. The company “aggregates and harmonizes” the data, so that it can be repackaged for clients like Opera and used at scale. He says that we’re still at the very beginning of seeing how beacons will work, but that his partner companies are already getting more focused on verticals, geography and segmentation than they had been before — and that even the hardware is getting more advanced. He also said that he’s seeing more and more deployments, and more campaigns going from pilot projects into more substantial commercial applications. “[These companies] understand proximity marketing,” he said. “It’s equally important to understand that data. We are on our way there, but we still have to acknowledge that it is early.” (SOURCE: Street Fight Magazine)

Rapidly evolving mobile payments market is table stakes for retailers: In 2015, the payments market experienced more change in a single year than it had seen in the previous decade. Apple rolled out Apple Pay, followed by Android and Samsung Pay, EMV cards created as much confusion as conversation, and the number of new mobile payment applications and platforms entering the market was staggering. This year brings even more excitement as momentum powered by innovation continues to push the boundaries of the status quo and old-school transactions become a thing of the past. As we look forward, we offer a peek into some critical trends and developments shaping the payments industry for both consumers and retailers. Here are our predictions for what is next in payments this year. (SOURCE: Luxury Daily)

GSMA reports on mobile money adoption: More than one billion transactions were processed through mobile money services globally in December 2015, the GSMA reveals, with registered accounts growing by nearly 100m — taking the total to 411m. “Mobile money is available in 85% of countries where most of the population lacks access to formal financial institutions,” the association says. (SOURCE: NFC World+)

Capturing the mobile consumer: E-retailing’s top marketers share how they have rewritten their digital marketing strategies and budgets to engage consumers who now spend more than half of their web time on mobile devices. Bob Sherwin is spending a lot of his time lately trying to figure out how to drive consumers to buy and research pricey furniture and household décor on mobile devices. As Wayfair LLC’s senior director of marketing for the past two and a half years, Sherwin oversees the retailer’s acquisition marketing team that handles just about every paid and organic marketing channel the retailer uses—save email and TV. Sherwin holds the reins at Wayfair during a pivotal moment when consumers are changing the way they shop online; even a year ago a large share of the retailer’s customers would research prospective purchases on their smartphones, but go to their desktop or tablet to buy. But that’s no longer the case. “People are just as comfortable making a purchase on a smartphone as they are on a desktop,” he says. That’s in spite of Wayfair’s sizable $150 average ticket. The rapid shift in consumer behavior is forcing Sherwin’s team to rapidly adapt. “We have to ensure that we’re pulling the right levers when it comes to mobile advertising,” he says. “That means we have to constantly test new ads, new platforms and new ways to drive people to buy.” (SOURCE: Internet Retailer)

RFID: The ‘Almost Everything’ Tool: RFID seems to be able to do everything, including access control, ID management and asset protection. What do the lowly ant, a Denver Broncos wide receiver, a pallet of clock radios and a graphic designer coming late for work at her advertising agency all have in common? Radio frequency identification technology, that’s what. For enterprise security professionals, RFID is at the heart of many electronic access control systems, opening doors upon presentation of a card, keyfob, credential or tag. RFID seems to be able to do everything, beyond door access – solutions that are essential in transportation and logistics, a secure twist on passports, identifying a lost dog, protecting Italian-designed leather jackets at a Fifth Avenue boutique, identifying the whole shebang from healthcare items and school equipment to library books and vehicles on a toll road. There’s no doubt, RFID is ubiquitous. Take those ants. University researchers have successfully glued RFID micro-transponders to live ants in order to study their behavior. This trend towards increasingly miniaturized RFIDs continues. (SOURCE: Security Magazine)

Android Pay coming to the UK this month: Mobile payment service will rival Apple Pay: Android users will soon be able to use their phones to pay in shops and tube stations when Google’s Android Pay launches in the UK. The mobile payment service is expected to launch at the end of March and will rival Apple Pay – the proprietary service available on the iPhone. Android Pay was rolled out in the US in September and it works with Near-Field Communication (NFC) chips built into handsets and contactless payment terminals. … As part of the US launch, Google added support for apps, letting people buy products on their mobile using Android Pay. It is now available in more than one million locations across the United States that already accept tap and pay, with more being added ‘every day’. (SOURCE: Daily Mail UK)

NFC payment to surge, Samsung and Apple lead the way: More than 148 million people will be making contactless payments via their smartphones this year, Juniper Research claims. In its report, entitled Contactless Payments: NFC Handsets, Wearables & Payment Cards 2016 – 2020, the company says Samsung and Apple will grab the biggest piece of the pie, accounting for almost 70 per cent of new customers. (SOURCE: ITProPortal)

ShopAdvisor to Host Webinar on Proximity Marketing Campaign that Delivered Record Results for Leading Fashion Publisher and its Retail Brand Partners: Late last year, ShopAdvisor teamed up with major fashion publisher, ELLE Magazine, for an innovative drive-to-store program utilizing beacons and geo-fences to connect consumers to participating brands. Partnering with Barnes & Noble, Vince Camuto, Guess and Levi’s, the ShopNow! campaign delivered results 100x better than industry standards. Learn how you can do the same. (SOURCE: ShopAdvisor, Inc., via press release)

RFID, AIDC and IoT News: Key Issues in Deploying Internet of Things Technology: Security, Integration and Value Assessment are Top Concerns, Gartner Says. The Internet of Things – or the Internet of Everything, as some call it – is obviously much in the news these days, as the hype machine powers on. But there is real activity going on, especially for monitoring of hard assets and production equipment, and that activity is in the process of jumping to many other areas, especially customer-facing applications. As that development continues, the analysts at Gartner have recently written about a number of key issues companies must think about in designing and deploying IoT systems internally or externally. … So there they are, the three key IoT system issues: security, data integration, and really understanding how IoT can drive value and perhaps change business models, maybe really in reverse order. We may be near the top of the IoT hype cycle, but underneath the hype IoT is bringing real value. (SOURCE: Supply Chain Digest)

Back to contactless basics – The need-to-know facts about contactless and your campus card system: Campus credentials and their various uses represent a rapidly expanding technology aiding colleges and universities in operating more efficiently while enhancing the student experience. Today, traditional magnetic stripe and prox cards – once the standard on campus – are being replaced in favor of more secure, sophisticated contactless cards and smart phones enabled with Near Field Communication (NFC). … Why go contactless? Security, engagement and innovation are staples for universities when it comes to student recruitment and retention. Implementing an NFC-enabled contactless credential on campus helps universities to be at the cutting edge in those very same areas. In addition, with more security, greater functionality, and multi-application support, institutions deploying contactless make ample strides in future-proofing their technology. … Give your students a more secure credential A campus-wide initiative to migrate to an NFC-enabled contactless card or mobile device requires thoughtful planning, involvement of cross-functional leaders, and changes to your overall credential program. But in making the decision to go contactless, a university will enjoy heightened security, greater interoperability and an innovative boost to campus that makes the conversion well worth the effort. (SOURCE: CR80 News)

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