Tag - Nfc
A new study of public requests for more NFC-based mobile wallet options when paying has found that Apple Pay is by far the most-requested "tap to pay" option, and that consumers are accelerating their demands for mobile-payment options at the places they shop in the US -- which will be good news for all "e-wallet" vendors. The poll, conducted by analyst firm Piper Jaffray, asked 507 resellers and independent software merchants about mobile payment technology options.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the NFC Forum today announced an initiative that will enable the two organizations to jointly educate the industry on mobile Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies, including Apple Pay, to support the needs of public transportation operators. The wider adoption of NFC will speed fare collection and is consistent from system to system.
Apple Pay is now available at two million locations worldwide, according to a new report, in a year that should see rapid expansion of compatibility as US merchants update to point-of-sale (POS) terminals that support both mobile payment options and the new "chip-and-PIN" EMV debit and credit cards. A new Bloomberg article notes that a number of US chain restaurants and retailers will be adding Apple Pay and other NFC-based payment options to their stores, including Au Bon Pain, Chick-Fil-A, and Crate & Barrel.
A new report confirmed by the head of Wells Fargo's ATM division suggests that at least two large US banks are working on adding NFC secure payment functionality to automatic teller machines, giving customers the option of simply waving their smartphone or Apple Watch to use Apple Pay-style authentication rather than the traditional debit card insertion and PIN confirmation entry. The system will also support other mobile wallets, and is being tested with Android Pay currently.
Swatch is releasing an analog watch in the United States, Brazil, and Switzerland that will perform mobile payments, following a launch in China. After making a deal with Visa, the Swatch Bellamy will be less of a smartwatch and more a designer timepiece with NFC built into it, allowing it to perform payments with NFC-equipped mobile terminals, but without requiring the device to be connected to a smartphone.
Apple has become a sponsor member in the NFC Forum association, which puts on the NFC World conference and is the leading trade organization for Near-Field Communication advancement. The group promotes and participates in other related technologies as well, such as QR, iBeacons, Bluetooth Low Energy, digital watermarks, augmented reality, biometrics, acoustics, bio-sensors, and light-based communications.
Google is finally ready to enter the mobile payment arena, today introducing a payment platform known as Android Pay. The platform will be available via an API framework, with support for NFC and biometric authentication, allowing developers to creatively integrate the feature into a wide range of third-party apps. Android Pay appears to offer many of the same capabilities as Google Wallet, but without relying solely on Google's own app and implementation scheme.
An internal memo at bakery cafe chain and Apple Pay launch partner Panera Bread has confirmed that Apple intends to launch the e-payment system on October 20, and that training is underway throughout the chain, which plans a massive promotional campaign to let customers know it can accept mobile payments using Apple Pay or other NFC-based e-wallet systems. A one-minute video and a FAQ sheet are among the training materials front-line Panera employees will need to get up-to-speed on the new system.
Ahead of an expected announcement of an Apple-led mobile payments solution, there have been new reports that prominent retailers such as Disney Stores, McDonald's and Apple's own retail stores have joined the ranks of businesses receiving new, upgraded NFC readers and iBeacon sensors as required. The system, if successful, could offer a future alternative to the planned move to a "chip and PIN" credit- and debit-card system already widely in use in Canada and Europe.
Apple is starting a pilot program that will form partnerships with merchants, possibly involving a rewards program for its mobile payment system, sources say. One of the informers indicates that the InterContinental Hotels Group is one party involved in talks. The sources also remark, however, that Apple has only just begun hiring towards the project, and that while it could be announced tomorrow, it might be postponed until more partners have been signed and media coverage moves beyond iCloud's celebrity photo leaks.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R