NFC news in brief • 15 Nov 2010

News in brief from the NFC world and beyond: Banks deploy OTP cards • Qantas expands next generation check-in • Visa and Gap tie coupons to purchasing • iPhone users max their cards • Subway picks Facecash • Nokia retrieves Symbian • Mobile coupons gain ground • Barclays reports contactless stats • and more…

BANKS DEPLOY VISUAL CARDS: A new generation of bank cards featuring a display and keyboard that can be used to generate and display a one time password (OTP) for making payments and transfers on the internet and over the telephone are now beginning to be deployed. Cornèr Bank is to become the first bank to deploy Visa‘s CodeSure card and will roll the solution out to several thousand customers over the next few months. Turkish Economy Bank (TEB) is to roll out a new card solution using similar technology, developed by the bank in conjunction with MasterCard and SmartSoft and manufactured by Gemalto.

Qantas next gen check-in
NEXT GEN: Qantas is rolling out its contactless check-in programme to further Australian airports

QANTAS’ NEXT GENERATION CHECK-IN: Australian airline Qantas has successfully concluded trials of its Next Generation Check-In service at Perth airport and has expanded the service to Sydney. Frequent flyers are now being issued with contactless cards that they use to check themselves in at the airport and ‘Q Bag Tags’, RFID tags that enable them to also automatically check in their luggage. The service will be expanded to Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra during the first half of 2011.

VISA AND GAP TIE COUPONS TO PURCHASING: Fashion retailer Gap has begun using a new service from Visa that distributes mobile marketing messages to Gap customers based on their purchasing history. With Gap Mobile 4 U, “shoppers enter their mobile phone number and their Visa card number and they’re set to receive up to two text messages with customized offers per week,” Internet Retailer reports. “The Visa card is not used for payment; rather, Visa scours the shopper’s transaction history, at Gap and elsewhere, looking for buying trends. Gap sends out text message promotions based on the shopper’s buying trends.”

IPHONE USERS MAX THEIR CARDS: “iPhone users leverage credit cards significantly more than Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile users,” a new study by Pageonce has found. “The average iPhone user has a 35% higher balance (this is carried balance plus new transactions plus any fees/charges) on their monthly credit card statement than the average Windows Mobile user,” says COO Steve Schultz. “My first reaction: Wow, really!? This might mean that iPhone users have more debt. Or it could mean iPhone users simply run more expenses through their cards. Or maybe Android users are more conservative about using credit? Whatever the reason, I’m betting credit card companies would like to get their hands on more iPhone users.”

ORANGE/BARCLAYCARD IPHONE APP: Barclaycard and mobile network operator Orange, who have a long standing strategic partnership designed to eventually bring about the commercial introduction of NFC services in the UK, have launched an iPhone app for the companies’ joint Orange Credit Card. Cardholders who download the app can use it to view their transaction history, check their balance, pay their bill and view their reward points balance.

P2P MOBILE MUSIC SHARING: Bump Technologies, whose touch-to-transfer mobile money service is integrated into PayPal‘s Send Money application, has added a music sharing application to its line up. “Bump users can select songs from their iTunes collection to share with friends via the classic Bump gesture,” Mashable reports. “Music recipients can then listen to the full tracks, as streamed from YouTube, or preview and buy them on iTunes.”

PAYPAL DEPOSITS CHEQUES BY MOBILE: PayPal “handled US$100,000 in checks from its mobile customers in roughly a day and a half after it kicked off its mobile check cashing service, which allows you to add money to your PayPal account by just taking a cellphone photo of a physical check and using the PayPal mobile app,” according to Reuters. “Roughly a month later, PayPal says it processed over $1 million worth of checks.”

SUBWAY PICKS FACECASH: Fast food outlet Subway is to begin accepting a new mobile payments technology called FaceCash in a number of outlets in California. FaceCash lets customers make payments in stores via a mobile phone from a prepaid account. During a purchase, the consumer’s face appears on the merchant’s register to verify identity and, the first time a buyer makes a purchase using FaceCash, the merchant matches the photograph provided during the sign up process to the consumer’s driver’s license or passport.

NOKIA RETRIEVES SYMBIAN: Nokia has taken back control of the Symbian operating system from the Symbian Foundation. “There has since been a seismic change in the mobile market but also more generally in the economy, which has led to a change in focus for some of our funding board members,” says the foundation’s Tim Holbrow. “The result of this is that the current governance structure for the Symbian platform — the foundation — is no longer appropriate.”

‘TIS THE SEASON FOR M-COMMERCE: Cellphones will be central to holiday planning this year for 59% of US mobile consumers and 64% plan to use their mobiles to help scout out deals before leaving for the stores, a new Mobile Marketing Association study has found. 13% of mobile holiday shoppers plan to use their phone to purchase or pay for gifts.

BRIGHT FUTURE FOR MOBILE COUPONS: 61% of mobile operators surveyed by MobileSquared think that coupons or vouchers will be the dominant form of mobile marketing by 2015, followed by SMS- and MMS-based messaging. Search-based mobile advertising came in third.

CONTACTLESS GAINS US GROUND: Giesecke & Devrient reports that it has now shipped 50m of its Convego Air contactless payment cards to the US. The cards are certified for MasterCard PayPass and Visa payWave and can be used at all payment terminals supporting contactless payment.

BARCLAYS REPORTS CONTACTLESS STATS: One million contactless transactions have now been conducted by Barclaycard and Barclays Bank cardholders in the UK this year. 150,000 of those transactions were conducted in September. “We are reaching a tipping point,” says Stuart Neal, head of payment acceptance at Barclaycard. “The number of terminals has gone from 25,000 at the beginning of 2010, to 42,500 today, and this is before the big grocers like Co-operative begin their roll out in earnest.”

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