NFC news in brief • 7 March 2011

News in brief from the NFC world and beyond: Norwegians ready to ditch cash • Airtag raises €4m • Cassis signs TSM deals • Intel invests in NFC firm • NEC introduces NFC POS device • AT&T adds ShopAlerts • Square hits $1m a day

Norwegian 200 Kroner notes
NORWAY: 34% expect to see cash phased out

NORWEGIANS READY TO DITCH CASH: A survey for Nordic IT firm EDB ErgoGroup has found that 34% of respondents answered ‘yes’ to the question ‘Do you expect to see notes and coins disappear as a means of payment?’ “These people form a group of the population that has already got used to a new cashless reality, and they can be seen as pioneers for the payment methods of the future,” says the company’s deputy CEO John-Arne Haugerud. “This is the same trend that we saw when we launched minibank systems, internet banking and the like: A small group of the population was quick to adopt the new technology, and the rest of the population then followed on. In the same way, we expect to see the majority of consumers become cash-free in the near future.”

AIRTAG RAISES €4M: Shopper marketing specialist Airtag, whose Fidbook NFC retail marketing solution is being used by retailers in Nice, has raised €4m in funding from CM-CIC Capital Privé and Seventure Partners. “We are speeding up our deployment and R&D capacity to consolidate our commercial positions in France and support the initial launch of NFC technology in various target regions, mainly Europe and the United States,” says Jérémie Leroyer, co-founder and CEO of Airtag.

CASSIS SIGNS TSM DEALS: NFC trusted service management (TSM) specialist Cassis International has signed deals with Tsys and Atos Worldline that will enable the two companies to build Cassis’ NFC TSM technology into their services. Cassis has also teamed up with Morpho to demonstrate an EMV standard system that enables multiple banking applications from different banks and payment schemes to all be implemented on one SIM card.

INTEL INVESTS IN NFC FIRM: Intel Capital, the chip maker’s investment arm, has made an investment in Toronto based SecureKey Technologies. The company designs hardware and software solutions to enable debit, credit and identity smartcards, including those within NFC phones, to be used for online authentication and online purchases.

NEC INTRODUCES NFC POS DEVICE: NEC has introduced a portable point-of-sale terminal which is compatible with both the Sony FeliCa contactless card technology used in Japan’s Osaifu-Keitai mobile wallet service and with the ISO 14443 Type A and B contactless standards used by the MasterCard PayPass and Visa Paywave contactless card systems, amongst many others.

AT&T ADDS SHOPALERTS: The US mobile network operator, a partner with T-Mobile and Verizon in the Isis NFC joint venture, has signed a deal with Placecast to introduce ShopAlerts by AT&T, an opt-in location-based marketing service that delivers special offers to customers’ mobile phones when they are near a participating store or brand.

SQUARE HITS $1M A DAY: US payments start-up Square is now processing $1m in transactions every day, founder Jack Dorsey — who also founded Twitter — has revealed.

Plus NFC World’s top stories this week…

Next: Visit the NFCW Expo to find new suppliers and solutions