Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Apple Rejects 'Wave and Pay' For New iPhone

Apple will not include "wave and pay" chips in the new iPhone to be released later this year, upsetting industry rumours that the Company will adopt a universal NFC standard of technology in 2011.

Sources at several of the largest mobile operators in the UK revealed Apple had disclosed in meetings that it would not be including Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which enables payment for products with a wave of a phone on a reader, in its latest version of the iPhone - iPhone 4GS or the iPhone 5.

One source close to the discussions said: "The new iPhone will not have NFC, Apple told the operators it was concerned by the lack of a clear standard across the industry". Yet Apple is said to be working on its own NFC proposition, which would link payments through iTunes. It hopes to introduce the technology in a handset likely to be released in 2012.

Consulting group Frost & Sullivan believes payment values via NFC will hit Euro-110 billion by 2015 and Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said the technology would "revolutionise payments". This year has seen Google launch the Nexus S, which contains NFC technology and the short-range wireless technology was backed by the GSMA, the mobile industry trade body last month.

Visa Unveils New Contactless iPhone E-Payment System

Visa has teamed up with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Australia for the four week mobile payments trial which will involve a mix of 50 local employees from the bank and the credit payment provider's offices in Sydney and Melbourne. The limited trial is linked to Apple's smartphone, and the application could be downloaded for free from Apple's iTunes application store.

Visa has built its contactless payment device into a case for the iPhone. The case contains a built-in memory card which acts as a credit card. Following the principle of contactless credit cards, when waved in front of a contactless cards reader, the built-in chip will authorise payment up to $100 without the requirement of either a signature or a PIN code. Customers have the option to receive a receipt anytime they conduct a transaction and the payment application can be deactivated quickly in case the phone gets lost or stolen.

The technology was developed by San Francisco-based DeviceFidelity, which partnered with VISA to develop its payWave application already in use for credit cards. For the mobile application, a microSD card combines with protective iPhone case, hosting payWave.

Visa Australia country manager Vipin Kalra believes "the trial would change the way payments are processed in Australia". Visa's regional innovation director Ben Pfisterer said that the trials would help the bank decide whether to go ahead and launch the device ahead of smartphone manufacturers.

When asked about the actual implementation of the new mobile payments system, Pfisterer said: "It won't be before six months because it will probably take a couple more (months) to finish the distribution channels and assess the findings but in the end, if everything stacks up that this device is something that we'd like to commercialise then by all means it can happen shortly after".

The technology is compatible with already-existing contactless readers available at more than 20,000 fast food restaurants, digital stores, book shops, etc across Australia. The device would be priced at less than $50 and could be bundled in future bank credit products for free.

TechFaith Announces GSM Mobile Phone Shipments to One of Mexico's Largest Consumer Electronics Manufacturers

TechFaith, a China-based original developed product ("ODP") provider focused on the original design and sales of mobile phone products, announced shipments of its GPRS/EDGE GSM mobile phone to one of Mexico's largest manufacturers of consumer electronics.

The mobile phones were specifically tailored for use on one of Mexico's largest operator networks, Telcel (www.telcel.com). TechFaith has already shipped 50,000 units to the customer since the fourth quarter of 2010. An additional 15,000 units are expected to ship to the same customer in the second quarter of 2011.

TechFaith's GPRS/EDGE GSM mobile phone is a high-end, full function multimedia phone, featuring a 3.0 inch LCD touch screen. The phone comes with a built in motion sensor and games, and supports high quality MPEG4 video, rich MP3 sound.

NetOne Deploys Gemalto's End-to-End Mobile Money Solution in Zimbabwe

Gemalto announces that NetOne, a leading network operator in Zimbabwe, is deploying Gemalto's LinqUs solution for Mobile Money Transfer, which comprises of the server, user application, as well as system integration services. The offer, being marketed as the OneWallet service, works on 100% of the handsets and will enable all NetOne subscribers to perform secure and convenient money transfer using their mobile phone. In particular, it provides the unbanked with access to secure banking services.

The LinqUs solution's user-friendly interface enables NetOne subscribers to make secure and easy peer-to-peer money transfers, pay every-day bills and top up their prepaid phone cards. Expanding the possibilities of Mobile Money Transfer, it also enables NetOne's customers to have their salaries paid directly onto their phones - an innovative feature that greatly empowers the unbanked with a secure and convenient digital wallet solution.

NetOne also intends to work with the Government of Zimbabwe and Pension Fund schemes to allow the OneWallet to be used for pension payments and thus remove the need for travelling long distances for purposes of collecting pension payments.

"Gemalto's ability to offer an end-to-end solution, coupled with their extensive software expertise, made it an easy choice for NetOne," commented Reward Kangai, Managing Director, NetOne "Mobile Money Transfer rollouts are long projects so we need a well established, trusted and future-proof technology partner to accompany us - Gemalto is exactly that."

NetOne's OneWallet is being presented during the Gemalto Mobile Money event held in Accra (Ghana) on March 15-17, where customers of Gemalto's in Africa are invited to debate topics related to Mobile Financial Services.

Smart Card Alliance Conference to Show U.S. Roadmaps to EMV and Secure ID

The Smart Card Alliance announced that the theme of its 2011 Annual Conference will be "The Roadmap to EMV Payments and Secure ID," where attendees can look forward to presentations and discussions on the advancement and growing adoption of smart card technology in EMV, contactless and mobile payments and secure identification. The conference will be held on May 3-5, with pre-conference workshops on May 2, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago.

The Smart Card Alliance 2011 Annual Conference welcomes professionals in the payments and security markets to gather together to share real cases and best practices, meet vendors in the large exhibit hall, witness live demonstrations, network with industry peers, and more.

The conference will mainly focus on EMV payments, government regulators, national cyber-security strategy, and the Canadian payments market. The remainder of the conference program will be divided into two tracks - Payments, and ID and Security that will cover the requirements and technology approaches for secure payment and identity applications.

Further information about the conference and full registration details are available on the 2011 Smart Card Alliance Annual Conference website.

U.S. Bank Starts Deposit Point Mobile Service

U.S. Bancorp (parent company of U.S. Bank, the 5th largest commercial bank in USA) will be adding a mobile remote deposit capture service to its mobile banking features, the Minneapolis-based institution announced March 14.

The bank's Deposit Point Mobile service enables its mobile-banking customers to deposit checks into a checking or savings account by capturing their images with a mobile phone's camera.

The service works on Apple Inc.'s iPhone, but the bank says it would offer remote deposit on handsets that run on Google Inc.'s Android system by this summer. U.S. Bancorp also is adding the ability to receive immediate alerts about credit card activity as text messages or e-mails.

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