NFC news in brief • 18 Oct 2010

News in brief from the NFC world and beyond: Mass transit aims for contactless standard • O2’s location-based ads • Mobile barcode usage up 700% • RF-SIM supplier set for IPO • Proximity advertising to net $6bn in 2015 • UK leads US in coupon interest • and more…

London tube map (perspective)
ON TRACK: Major mass transit operators are planning a global contactless ticketing standard based on bank cards

GLOBAL TRANSPORT: Transport for London (TfL) is in talks with its fellow mass transit operators in Paris, New York, Boston, Chicago, Sydney and Manchester with a view to setting a common transport ticketing standard based on contactless credit and debit card technology, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph. TfL will have converted all London buses to accept payment for fares via contactless bank cards by early 2012 and will complete conversion of the London Underground network by the end of that year. New York’s MTA plans to do the same by 2014 and is working with Visa on an NFC trial on the Lexington Avenue subway line. The Paris regional transport operators plan to be NFC-ready from the end of this year.

O2 PICKS PLACECAST: Mobile network operator O2 UK is rolling out a mass market location-based advertising system based on US start-up Placecast‘s geo-fencing technology. The system allows retailers and brands to deliver SMS and MMS messages to O2’s database of one million opt-in consumers whenever they are near an advertiser’s store or other outlet. Starbucks and L’Oréal are the first brands to sign up for the service.

MOBILE BARCODES: ScanLife has published a report analysing usage of its mobile barcode solutions which shows that overall usage has increased by 700% in the last year. “The report covers both UPC barcodes (people scanning products to get prices and reviews) and 2D barcodes that you would see in magazines, outdoor ads, etcetera,” the company says. “Interestingly, our traffic is split 50/50 right now which shows that people really just want information quickly and easily — they don’t care what kind of code — it’s all about what they get back in return.”

RF SIM IPO: Chinese RF SIM developer Trunkbow International Holdings, in which VeriFone invested $5m earlier this year, has filed for a $125.52m IPO. Trunkbow plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq exchange, Street Insider reports, at almost double the price VeriFone paid for its stake in February.

PROXIMITY MARKETING: The US mobile proximity-based advertising market will grow from $200m this year to US$760m in 2011 and $6bn in 2015, according to a new report by Borrell Associates. Almost 97% of spending will be placed by national chains rather than smaller local businesses, Borrell predicts.

MOBILE COUPONS: More than three quarters of US and UK consumers who took part in a coupon usage survey by mBlox say they currently use coupons while shopping. 29% of UK consumers and 15% of US consumers have already used a mobile coupon while 71% of UK users and 42% of US users said they would be interested in receiving mobile coupons while they are shopping in a store to alert them to a special offer or promotion.

CELLFIRE WALLET: Blaze Mobile has added Cellfire‘s QMobile Coupons to its mobile wallet solution. Cellfire’s mobile coupon network includes more than 30 grocery chains with over 5,000 stores across the US.

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