October 10, 2011

Subway orders contactless payments at 7,000 locations

MasterCard Inc.’s announcement today that more than 7,000 Subway restaurant locations will accept the card brand’s PayPass contactless payment by the end of the first quarter of 2012

Mobile Commerce - Subway orders contactless payments at 7,000 locations - Internet Retailer

A key ingredient to widespread adoption of contactless payments made by tapping a smartphone against a reader is ensuring there are enough places for consumers to use the technology.

That’s why MasterCard Inc.’s announcement today that more than 7,000 Subway restaurant locations will accept the card brand’s PayPass contactless payment by the end of the first quarter of 2012 is noteworthy, says Richard Crone, CEO of payments advisory firm Crone Consulting LLC. “Subway wants to leapfrog into accepting mobile payments,” Crone says.

MasterCard introduced PayPass in 2002 for use in tap-and-go credit and debit cards, and Google Inc. built compatibility with PayPass into Google Wallet, the first smartphone-enabled mobile payment scheme to reach consumers. To use the service, a consumer must add at least one payment method, such as a Citibank MasterCard credit card, into the Google Wallet app so the app has access to funds. Then, she can tap the phone against a reader to buy a sandwich just as if she used a conventional card that had a contactless chip in it.

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Until today, Subway restaurants only accepted cash and conventional credit and debit cards. Subway has not previously accepted any form of contactless payment, a Subway spokeswoman says.

Google Wallet relies on Near Field Communication, a technology that enables a two-way connection between an NFC device and an NFC reader, which can be used to make a mobile payment or redeem a mobile coupon. Google lists Subway as a supporting merchant “coming soon” on the Google Wallet web site.

“This is important because Google and its partners are taking the first step in making digital payments on your phone a reality,” a Subway spokeswoman says. “We believe Google Wallet will save consumers time and money as they shop and will give merchants like us new ways to forge lasting relationships with customers.”

Google Wallet only is available with Nexus S 4G phones sold through Sprint. Between 400,000 and 500,000 of those phones have been sold, says Mark Beccue, senior analyst, consumer mobility, at ABI Research. Google is not disclosing the number of Google Wallet accounts.

Other companies, including Visa Inc., Isis and American Express Co.’s Serve, are close behind with their own programs.

Merchant acceptance is vital, Crone says. Indeed, the 7,000 Subway locations announced today represent 28.5% of the 24,551 U.S. subway restaurants. Approximately, 150,000 U.S. merchant locations accept PayPass transactions, Google says. By comparison, there are at least six million U.S. locations where consumers can use a conventional payment card, Crone explains.

The cost of an NFC payment terminal is one impediment to wider use of NFC phones to make in-store payments, Crone says. An NFC-compatible payment terminal may cost between $400 and $500, making Subway’s move a potential $2.8 million investment. Subway would not disclose the company’s cost.

Mobile Commerce - Subway orders contactless payments at 7,000 locations - Internet Retailer

Posted by staff at 08:24 AM

April 26, 2011

Contactless News

Contactless news digest. MTA specing new contactless system and China adopting 13.56Mhz

This week's feature

Identity as a service
Outsourcing identity and credentialing matures

by Zack Martin, Editor, AVISIAN Publications

So, you want to deploy a converged smart card system for logical and physical access control for your company?

You start taking inventory, looking at the operating systems in use, applications that would have to be enabled, public key infrastructure technology that would need to be deployed and physical access control infrastructure and try to figure out how to take all this and make it work with one smart card for each employee.

Read more »
Latest news

MTA to present outline for contactless fare system
New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has begun the process of seeking a vendor for its new contactless fare payment system, according to Banktech.com.
Read more »

INSIDE Secure taps ARM for 32-bit processor technology
INSIDE Secure today announced it will develop 32-bit secure processor solutions based on ARM architecture. Under the terms of a licensing agreement with ARM, INSIDE can now utilize the ARM SecurCore SC300 processor for its next generation of secure payments, digital security and NFC solutions.
Read more »

Ingersoll Rand debuts Schlage wireless portable reader
Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, owner of Schlage contactless smart credentials and readers, has announced the launch of Schlage's new WPR400 Wireless Portable Reader.
Designed for use in contactless access control systems, the device offers a cache mode option for offline applications ranging from attendance, event admission, checkpoints, signal testing, perimeter expansion and more.
Read more »

Oberthur launches first MasterCard M/Chip Advance product
Oberthur Technologies has announced the commercial launch of its Cosmo Fly v4 M/Chip Advance for MasterCard.
Following Oberthur's announcement of the development of MasterCard M/Chip Advance in December 2010, the Cosmo Fly has been fully certified and is now commercially available for MasterCard issuers. The new product is designed to provide MasterCard issuers with a flexible solution for contact and contactless payments.
Read more »

Clear2Pay wins Contactless Monkey Award for South Africa transit project
Clear2Pay has won the Contactless Monkey Award in the category of "Trailblazing and Innovation" for its EMV contactless ticketing solution in South Africa's public transport system.
Read more »

secunet expanding German ID infrastructure
secunet was commissioned by the German Federal Office for Information Security with the extension of the control infrastructure for electronic identity documents.
Border control applications like the "ePass-Client" or the e-Gate solution "EasyPASS" at Frankfurt airport read and check electronic data from e-passports. In order for border officials to read the data stored on the new ID card, a cryptographic keys infrastructure has to be set up and the applications adapted.
Read more »

Glasgow to get smart cards on subway
The Glasgow Underground is set to adopt an Oyster Card-style ticketing system by 2013, according to The Scotsman.
Officials say the new smart cards can be loaded with credit either online or in the subway station. To pay for fares, users simply tap their card against a reader at the turnstile and the cost of the journey is automatically deducted. The card can also be used to purchases small items such as newspapers, magazines and snacks.
Read more »

China looks to adopt 13.56 MHz as national contactless payments standard
China will most likely adopt 13.56 MHz as the national payment standard, according to Zhang Qi, director of the China Information Industry Trade Association (CIITA). Alternative standards such as 2.4GHz will likely be excluded from the financial sector, favored instead for closed application environments, such as corporate buildings.
Read more »

CPI Card Group taps NXP, KSW for contactless card tech
Contactless card manufacturer CPI Card Group has announced it will broaden its portfolio of contactless offerings with technology from NXP Semiconductors and KSW Microtec.
The partnership will give CPI access to NXP Semiconductors' Fast Pay contactless security chip. Used for contactless payment applications in the U.S. and Canada, Fast Pay features embedded Data Encryption Standard (DES) hardware for boosted security and speedy transaction times.
Read more »

OTI delivers 7,000 contactless payments readers to Poland
On Track Innovations has announced the delivery of 7,000 contactless readers to support the growing contactless payments market in Poland.

OTI's wholly-owned Polish subsidiary, ASEC, has been working with several Polish channel partners and customers to deliver contactless payments to coffee shops, pharmacies, department stores and animal supply stores.
Read more »

Posted by staff at 10:00 AM

May 06, 2010

PR bungle reveals details on Visa contactless iPhone case

PR bungle exposes iPhone contactless payment with Visa. Also rumor Apple to buy Vivotech


In an apparent error, a joint press release on the launch appeared online yesterday before being swiftly pulled from the MarketWatch site. However, before its removal, the news was picked up by NFC World, which has published the text.

The protective iPhone case, which has been certified by Apple, includes a secure memory card developed by DeviceFidelity that hosts Visa's payWave contactless payment application.

This means iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G owners can make low-value payments at payWave-enabled terminals by waving their handsets over the reader.

The original release, which can still be found online, provides a link - which does not work - to a video showing the device in action and interviews with Visa and DeviceFidelity.


July 14, 2009

Ticketing - Peru Rapid Transit Goes Contactless

Affiliated Computer Services, a Dallas-based information technology company, has been chosen to provide the City of Lima, Peru with a contactless ticketing system for the country’s first bus rapid transit line. Under the terms of the $200 million contract, ACS will operate the system for a 14-year period.

ACS will supply and operate a fully integrated fleet management and ticketing solution to cover the needs of the first bus system installed in one of Lima’s busiest areas. The line is intended to carry over 700,000 passengers a day, and the city intends to build 10 other ticketing solutions, along similar lines, in the next few years.

The ticketing solution will be based on smart contactless cards that will be controlled at each station by gates and sold by automatic ticket vending machines and manned POS terminals. The 220 buses will be fully monitored and regulated, which is expected to significantly minimize wait times at each station.

Link

Posted by staff at 12:42 PM

April 14, 2009

Payment Technology - Visa Enables NFC

Visa Inc. has announced the launch of the world's first commercial Visa mobile payments service for point-of-sale transactions using Near Field Communications (NFC) technology.

The service marks the first time consumers can purchase an NFC-enabled mobile device off the shelf and use that device to make Visa payWave-enabled transactions at the point-of-sale instead of using their payment card.

"We believe that Visa's NFC mobile payment launch in Malaysia signals a tipping point for the payments industry globally as we move from mobile payment pilots to commercial availability," said Elizabeth Buse, Global Head of Product at Visa Inc. "Malaysia has historically been an early adopter of new payment technologies. The launch of Visa's first commercial NFC program in Malaysia is based on Visa's experience gained from undertaking extensive pilot activities around the globe and is something Visa plans to replicate in other places around the world."

Maxis -a wireless carrier in Malaysia with more than 11 million subscribers, Nokia - a handset manufacturer and Maybank - a financial institution in Malaysia have teamed with Visa to offer Visa payWave on mobile devices.

The service, launched this week, allows Maybank Visa account holders to simply wave their NFC-enabled Nokia 6212 classic handset in front of a contactless reader to complete a secure Visa transaction in a matter of seconds.

Maybank Visa account holders can download their Visa payWave credit account details directly to their Nokia 6212 classic handset over the Maxis wireless network. Once the account has been personalized on the phone, account holders can then begin to make purchases at any one of the 1,800 merchant outlets that currently accept Visa payWave in Malaysia.

The contactless chip embedded in the device will also power a number of additional functions, including a contactless transit application that enables Malaysian commuters to pay for charges while using metropolitan transit systems, bus terminals, highway toll gates and car park facilities at more than 3,000 contactless payment touch points throughout Malaysia. Maxis has branded these mobile payment services under the name Maxis FastTap.

Dr Nikolai Dobberstein, Maxis' Senior Vice President of Strategy and New Businesses said, "Maxis has been a long-standing partner of Visa in Malaysia and is excited to be the first to market with a commercial Visa payWave service on mobile devices. Our collaboration with Visa is part of our wider NFC strategy which includes multiple applications including mass transit, road tolling, parking, mobile marketing through smart posters and of course retail payment through Visa payWave. We see this announcement as important not only for consumers in Malaysia but for the broader financial services and telecom industries because it serves as a proof point that win-win business models are possible in mobile commerce."

Posted by staff at 07:02 AM

June 20, 2008

Technology - Contactless Payment for Kiosks

vivotech_kiosk_thumbnail.jpgWith all the talk about PCI-compliance and identity it was good to see new module fro VIVOtech for kiosks and contactless payment. Has the 14443 MiFare and also supports NFC-enabled.

ViVOpay Kiosk is a bolt-on external reader module that can be easily added to existing and new Kiosk systems to add new contactless payment functionality. The ViVOpay Kiosk’s compact design and rugged weather-proof construction allows it to be used in selfordering kiosk systems in public transit, air travel, parking and retail, as well as turnstiles, parking meters and more.
vivotech_kiosk_400.jpg
The ViVOpay Kiosk is certified with most contactless payment programs such as MSD-based MasterCard® PayPass® , ExpressPay® from American Express®, Visa® PayWave and Discover® Zip™ and capable of EMV-Based OneSmart®, MasterCard® PayPass® and Visa® payWave qVSDC. A host system with ViVOpay Kiosk would be enabled with contactless payment functionality without the need to go through lengthy re-certification.

The ViVOpay Kiosk also supports contactless ticketing functionality such as used in most transit systems worldwide as well as NFC mobile phone payments and promotions. Its powerful ARM processor and remote download capability allows for future scalability and updates. Operators can rest assured that the investment of today will support the developments in contactless payments of the future.

Benefits

• Contactless Payments Certified: Host system doesn’t need to go through lengthy re-certification.

• Easy Integration: Easy bolt-on installation on most Kiosks and Turnstiles.

• Outdoor/ Indoor: Rugged weather-proof design to fit needs of most unattended operators.

• Future-proof: Application can easily be updated remotely.

• Additional Applications: Equipped with new powerful ARM processor for advanced contactless functionality.


DS_ViVOpayKiosk.pdf (pdf)

Posted by staff at 12:30 PM

April 28, 2008

Coupons and Mobile Phones

New figures from analyst firm Juniper Research estimate that almost 3 billion mobile coupons will be issued to Mobile Users by 2011, with just under $7 billion of discounts redeemed.

source link

The new Juniper study finds that mobile coupons are becoming an increasingly important tool for brand owners and retailers to provide a `push to purchase' capability for mobile marketing and advertising campaigns. The key issues driving the move to mobile coupons include:

- Cost savings on campaigns
- An increase in ARPU
- One-2-one marketing opportunities
- An increase in customer retention for mobile operators – lower churn
- Higher conversion rates
- The expansion of mobile value added services
- Reduced fraud

However, Juniper identified some notable challenges for the sector, including a hesitancy from some retailers to adopt mobile coupons. In addition, some retailers would have to change from using laser scanners to optical readers that use the required CCD, technology to read barcodes, especially 2D barcodes from mobile phones.

Other key findings from the report include:

• 2.6 billion mobile tickets set to be delivered by 2011
• Early use of mobile barcode technology will be gradually complemented by the emergence of NFC (Near Field Communication)
• A total of almost $87 billion worth of mobile ticketing transactions by 2011

Juniper Research defines a mobile coupon as "a coupon sent and stored on a mobile phone that can be exchanged for a rebate, a financial discount etc. at a retailer when the consumer purchases a product." When compared to their paper cousins, mobile coupons offer a number of distinct advantages allowing the coupon issuer a direct connection between themselves and the consumer using the coupon.

Juniper Research illustrates the current and near-future status of mobile ticketing and coupons with analysis and interviews from representatives of some of the leading organisations in the growing mobile ticket and coupon industry.

White papers and further details of the study 'Mobile Ticketing & Coupon: Strategies & Markets 2007-2011' can be freely downloaded from http://www.juniperresearch.com. Alternatively, please contact John Levett at mailto:john.levett@juniperresearch.com, Telephone +44(0)1256 830002.

Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.
Author

Alan Goode
Related Reports

* Mobile Ticketing & Coupons - Strategies & Markets 2007-2011.

Posted by staff at 09:42 AM

April 22, 2008

ViVOpay enables contactless payments for kiosk systems

ViVOtech is extending its ViVOpay line of contactless readers into the kiosk market by introducing the ViVOpay Kiosk contactless payment module. The new technology is certified to work with all major contactless payment programs and allow third-party Kiosk host systems to accept contactless payments without requiring lengthy and costly compliance re-certifications.


source link

“Contactless payments and ticketing systems are experiencing rapid growth worldwide, prompting kiosk manufacturers and operators to look for solutions that can be easily integrated with new and existing systems,” said Mohammad Khan, ViVOtech President and Founder. ”The ViVOpay Kiosk module enables payment solution providers in transportation, retail, parking and other industries to now accept contactless and NFC mobile payments at their unattended Kiosks with minimal effort.”

ViVOpay Kiosk is an add-on contactless payment module that bolts onto existing and new Kiosk systems to enable the functionality. The ViVOpay Kiosk designed for indoor and outdoor environments is compatible with all major worldwide contactless payment programs and works with upcoming NFC mobile phone payment technologies for ticketing, promotions, and coupons redemption applications

ViVOtech will be demonstrating the new ViVOpay Kiosk contactless payment module during the week of April 14th at the KioskCom show in booth #431 and at the Electronic Transactions Association Show in booth #635 in Las Vegas, Nevada and at the FSTec show in booth #812 in Grapevine, Texas, according to the Business Wire Web site.

Posted by staff at 11:22 AM

February 27, 2008

New fears over contactless chip cards raised

Security expert Adam Laurie at Black Hat 2008 demonstrates pull name, account number and expiration date from audience member RFID-enabled credit -- without removing the plastic for the "victims" wallet. The account number though was actually an alias number. In any case the Smart Card Association rebutted all of the concerns for now.


Finextra: New fears over contactless chip cards raised

Fresh concerns have been raised over the security of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology used for contactless payments after a hacking demonstration by security expert Adam Laurie at the Black Hat 2008 conference.

At the conference earlier this month Laurie used his new EMV Chip And PIN credit card reading script, called ChAP.py, to pull the name, account number and expiration date from an audience member's RFID enabled American Express card - without removing the plastic from the victims wallet.

American Express uses RIFD technology to support its contactless payments ExpressPay cards. The firm insists it is confident in the security of ExpressPay and says the account number extracted by Laurie cannot be used for online transactions.

ExpressPay cards have two account numbers - one for contactless payments and one for the debit or credit card feature. American Express says by only transmitting the 'alias' number for contactless payments it protects the credit or debit card number.

In a statement, the card scheme says: "As the payment host, American Express would not verify an online transaction using just the alias account number. There are several other security mechanisms that would be required in order for payment authorisation to take place."

The company says it has also stopped storing the cardholder's name on the ExpressPay chip.

Laurie, a non-executive director of data security firm The Bunker, has added ChAP.py, which uses the Python script language, to his RFIDIOt online library for people to download free of charge. The site also sells hardware to read and write RFID devices.

Concerns over the security of RFID are not new. In 2006 a group calling itself the RFID Consortium for Security and Privacy claimed to have uncovered lapses in the security and privacy features of several types of RFID payment cards.

The researchers tested around 20 contactless credit cards and found that RFID cards transmit cardholder names and so any device capable of scanning a card can learn the name imprinted on it - with or without the owner's consent

Secondly, the RFID credit cards are vulnerable to skimming. An attacker with an RFID reader can harvest information from a card, create an inexpensive clone device, and make charges against the legitimate card, says the group. Alternatively, a fraudster may be able to perform online transactions with harvested credit-card information.

However the Smart Card Association rebutted the claims, suggesting that nothing in the report supports the conclusion that a criminal could complete a fraudulent contactless payment transaction in the real world.

Posted by staff at 06:47 AM

August 27, 2005

London's contactless transit card to be accepted at local merchants

oyster_card.gifOyster, Transport for London's popular transit fare payment card, is about ready for a new benefit for its more than two million users. They'll soon be able to use their contactless card to make small purchasescoffee, newspapers, milkat participating retailers. TfL in July released what it calls its shortlist of seven companies or consortia bidding on what could be a very lucrative contract.

"We are currently in discussion with potential partners with whom we hope to develop e-purse on Oyster," said TfL's Amanda Brooks, media relations. "These discussions include how the e-purse would integrate with Oyster and we will announce plans after a partner has been decided."

Adding e-purse functionality had always been one of the goals for the Oyster card, a program that has been in existence for about two and a half years. "The plan to extend Oyster from travel to small money purchases demonstrates TfL's commitment to provide greater convenience for passengers and generate additional revenue for the transport network," said Ms. Brooks.

"Oyster already has the largest customer base of all smart cards in the UK," she added, "with more than 2.5 million users. Also, more than three million journeys are made every day using Oyster. Essentially, this takes away one of the biggest hurdles of any contactless smart card payment system as customers already have Oyster in their pockets. It's not a new piece of plastic they have to acquire."

Read full article at Contactless News

Posted by keefner at 03:11 PM

Contactless Card and Blink: Part II

Chase introduced the card in June in an effort to be the first to pave the way for a national switch to smart cards in the U.S. To date, Chase has issued two million blink cards to Visa and MasterCard credit cardholders in Colorado and Georgia and its continually adding new merchant locations to the 400-plus initially slated for the rollout.


Making a decision to become the 'first to leap'

According to ODonnell, Chases smart card initiative was a natural extension of its credit card business, which currently has more than 94 million cards in circulation. So when Visa announced in May that it had agreed to adopt MasterCards PayPass ISO 14443-certified technology in an effort to share a common communications protocol for RF-based payment at the point of sale, Chase moved forward. The ISO 14443 standard allows retailers to use a single terminal to accept smart cards from Visa, MasterCard and American Express (American Express launched its ExpressPay contactless key fob program in 2004 and has recently announced that its Blue cards would now incorporate the ExpressPay technology).

Industry observers see Visas and MasterCards move to cast aside their long-time association rivalry as determination to become dominant players in the next generation of payment technology in the U.S. Unlike elsewhere around the world, the banking industry here has made slow progress in migrating from magnetic-stripe to chip cards. There are a number of issuers interested in this (contactless cards), but Chase has the most experience, says Allen.

The launch of blink follows on the heels of a PayPass market trial in Orlando in 2003 involving Chase, Citibank and MBNA as well as 16,000 cardholders and 60 retail locations. That test, coupled with MasterCards ongoing PayPass alliance with McDonald Corp., demonstrates that the convenience and security of contactless end-to-end transactions appeal to U.S. consumers. To date, 7,500 McDonalds restaurants accept PayPass cards and the fast food chain announced plans to expand acceptance to some 13,600 U.S. restaurants by year end.


Read full article at Contactless News

Posted by keefner at 03:09 PM

August 19, 2005

Contactless Payments Blink

"Blink" technology a computer chip with a high-security level of encrypted data embedded in a credit card, debit card or key fob is making its way through the current U.S. retail landscape in rapid fashion. Most consumers know it as the ExxonMobil Speedpass but thats about to change.

The technology is ideal for small-format retailer environments such as convenience or drug stores. No signature is required in a "blink" transaction, but most small-format retailers do not require signatures for electronic transactions less than $25.

In June, American Express began issuing payment cards embedded with RFID chips, following similar moves by MasterCard and Visa. Among off-premise retailers participating in the new "blink" initiative are 7-Eleven and CVS.

In Colorado and Georgia, Chase Bank recently rolled out credit cards with "blink" technology that let users wave their cards near an RFID reader at checkout, instead of having to swipe them.

Full article on KioskCom.com Website

Posted by keefner at 02:09 PM

Meijer Adopts Contactless Card Payment

Meijer Stores, a grocery and general merchandise retailer, and one of the fastest growing privately-owned companies in the United States, today announced it is the first super center chain in the United States to accept MasterCard PayPass as a contactless payment option at all of its 171 locations.

"As an early adopter of this new payment option, we recognize the importance to our customers of saving time at checkout," said Michael Ross, director of marketing strategy and customer relationship management for Meijer. "MasterCard PayPass is part of Meijer''s continuing efforts to invest in solutions for serving customers quickly and efficiently."

Meijer also announced today the upcoming availability of the PayPass-enabled Meijer Platinum MasterCard card. The card, issued by GE Consumer Finance, a leading provider of credit services, combines the features and benefits of the Meijer private label store card with the worldwide acceptance of a MasterCard card and the added functionality of PayPass contactless "tap and go" payments. The card has all the privileges of an in-store card, including access to exclusive sales, promotions and loyalty rewards, plus all the benefits of a traditional bankcard - worldwide acceptance, competitive APRs and rewards on out-of-store spending. Customers who use the card at Meijer earn points towards Meijer Bucks, which can be redeemed for merchandise. Cardholders accrue two points for each dollar spent in-store and one point for each dollar spent elsewhere. Cardholders can earn additional points through special seasonal offers and fuel purchases.

Full Article on KioskCom.com Website

Posted by keefner at 02:08 PM

June 24, 2005

ViVOtech's Contactless Payment Products Receives American Express Certification

vivotech.jpgViVOtech announced that its ViVOpay products have been certified by American Express(R) for use in its ExpressPay program. The certification guarantees the ViVOpay 3000 and 4000 readers conform to American Express' reliability, security and performance standards.

Source: ContactlessNews

The American Express certification is an industry recognized level of quality and operating performance. Using an independent lab, all certified products are tested and evaluated for software stability, security and interoperability.

ExpressPay, the American Express contactless payment alternative to cash, provides a safe and convenient way to make purchases. ExpressPay is being incorporated into the Blue from American Express(R) credit cards. Users simply hold Blue with ExpressPay next to a special reader like ViVOpay 3000 and 4000 at checkout to make purchases. Payment is authorized in seconds and no signature is required.

"With commercial roll-out of contactless payment technology now ramping up ViVOtech is well positioned to meet the demands of retailers and card issuers alike," said Mick Mullagh, CEO of ViVOtech. "ViVOtech was the first supplier to have multiple contactless reader products certified by American Express. We anticipate significant demand in the marketplace as convenient stores, parking garages, stadiums and shopping centers continue to go contactless in the coming months."

Posted by keefner at 04:46 PM

June 20, 2005

How Safe Are the New Contactless Payment Systems?

As the retail industry starts to embrace contactless payment in a big wayled by $41 billion retailer 7-Eleven and Chase, the nation's largest issuer of credit cardsarguments are renewing about just how safe and fraud-proof these cards will be.

Contactless advocates have argued that current contactless readers can only "see" the RF chip when it's two inches away, making unauthorized scanning for customer data quite difficult.

That two-inch argument was touted recently by 7-Eleven CIO Keith Morrow, who pointed to it as a key anti-fraud fact.

That distance varies sharply, though, depending on the equipment used to do the testing.

Shell Canada, for example, performed some of its contactless testing using the high-powered antennae that it believed thieves would use, said Mike Cooper, the $2.4 billion Canadian petroleum giant's adviser for network development engineering.

The kind of low-frequency tags popular in the United States "we could read at a distance of 10 meters," which is about 33 feet, Cooper said.

He contrasted those with the high-frequency tags used by Shell Canada, which he said could be readwith that same high-powered antennaefrom about 26 inches away.

Retailers are facing strict new credit card security requirements at the end of this month, from Visa and others. To read more, click here.

The high-frequency tags "can be read from a shorter distance, so it's more difficult to snoop," Cooper said.

Chase officials disagree with the distance issue, but referred questions to Visa, one of its contactless card partners.

But Chase officials did say that the distance argument is irrelevant for their cards and customers because of several security measuresincluding 128-bit and triple DES encryptionthat would make any improperly captured data useless.

"Even if you could skim it, with every transaction, the [authorization] code changes and that code is needed for an authorization," said David Chamberlin, first vice president for external communications at Chase Card Services.


Read the full article on CIO Insight

Posted by keefner at 07:09 PM

June 07, 2005

Contactless Card News

American Express Begins Issuing Contactless Payment Cards Nationwide and Signs 7-Eleven, Inc. as Newest ExpressPay Merchant.

ExpressPay adheres to ISO 14443, the interoperable standard that has been adopted by the major payment brands for conducting contactless payments. 7-Eleven currently has ExpressPay-enabled readers in 170 stores in a test market and plans a full roll out to its more than 5,300 U.S. stores by early 2006.

American Express has been testing ExpressPay since 2002. The pilots
involved many thousands of consumers making more than a million transactions with ExpressPay at hundreds of merchants. Test results showed that, on average, ExpressPay transactions are 63 percent faster than using cash. Market research with pilot participants also confirmed that consumers view convenience and simplicity of use as two of the major benefits. Important merchant benefits include reduced transaction time and increased spending relative to cash.

Read more

Posted by keefner at 02:18 PM

May 26, 2005

Georgia credit-card holders first to use 'blink' technology

blink.jpg ATLANTA - About 400,000 credit-card holders in Georgia will be the first in the country to use a new technology that allows them to pay for items by waving their card near a terminal instead of swiping it through a machine.

story link

Residents of Atlanta and 160 other cities in the state will test drive the new "blink" cards, which JPMorgan Chase & Co. will begin mailing to its customers June 1.

The company selected Atlanta as the first test city because "what we see in Atlanta is very much on the leading edge of being trendsetting," said Tom O'Donnell, senior vice president of JPMorgan's card division. "It's a dynamic place where people are on the go."

JPMorgan estimates that the new technology will help shorten lines at businesses and help merchants reach more customers by speeding up credit-card purchases. For example, the company predicts it would cut up to 20 seconds from a typical transaction at a fast-food restaurant's drive-through window.

In Atlanta, the cards will be accepted at hundreds of businesses starting next month, mostly at pharmacies, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and movie theaters.

Everything about the "blink" card is the same as a traditional credit card except that the new cards don't have to be swiped through a machine, so it shaves a few seconds off of a transaction. It looks like a normal credit card, but there is a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip embedded inside it. Barely visible, the flat microchip is smaller than a kernel of corn.

When a customer brings his credit card within a couple of inches of the terminal, it lights up and beeps, and the transaction is instantly captured.

"A big part of convenience is speedy transaction," said Margaret Chabris, a spokeswoman with 7-Eleven convenience stores. "It's quicker because they're not fumbling around with cash."

Consumers can start "blinking" at 170 7-Eleven stores next month, and Chabris said that the company hopes to have all its 5,300 stores outfitted with the terminals by the end of the year.

"What we're looking for is adding a feature that gives them more speed and more convenience in terms of how they use their credit card. They now have an easier way to pay," O'Donnell said.

----

On The Net

JPMorgan Chase & Co's Blink Cards: http://www.chaseblink.com

Posted by keefner at 03:50 AM

May 20, 2005

Contactless Card Momentum Goes Blink

contactless-card.gif
JP Morgan announces it is going to issue millions of contactless cards in an effort to jumpstart the market in the US.

Visa launched its own contactless system in the US market in February this year, although at the time no cards had been issued and Visa couldn't confirm any retailer agreements according to Finextra.

The Visa and MasterCard cards - branded 'blink' - will enable consumers to pay by holding the plastic near a secure reader, instead of swiping the card or handing it to a cashier. The new point-of-sale terminal will emit a tone and signal - or blink - indicating payment confirmation.

The bank is to begin issuing the cards on a market-by-market basis early this summer. It is working to implement the technology at thousands of gas stations, quick-service restaurants, movie theatres, convenience stores and other merchants where speed and convenience are important. Early retail adopters include Sheetz convenience stores and the 7-eleven chain.

Earlier US cinema operator Regal Entertainment Group said it will accept MasterCard's PayPass contactless payment card scheme at its 558 movie theatres across the country.

Meanwhile -- a mishmash of standards for contactless smart cards is likely to restrain the growth of the technology at the point-of-sale, according to the latest market analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

The consultancy says 121.7 million contactless smart cards were shipped in 2004, and this figure is expected to reach 847.3 million in 2009.

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Posted by keefner at 02:06 PM

March 31, 2005

VISA and Mastercard Agree on Standard

In another step toward standardizing contactless payments, MasterCard and Visa have agreed to use MasterCard's PayPass ISO/TEC 14443 specifications.

The agreement could also mean other credit card companies may join the parade.

"The agreement means that cards and terminals supporting MasterCard and Visa contactless payment applications will conform to the same communications protocol and undergo equivalent testing," said MasterCard's Christina Rae. The two "will use common radio frequency protocols already used by MasterCard for contactless payment cards that consumers wave by or tap on readers."

The move is also designed to "support our member banks and merchants by agreeing upon common standards for contactless payment," said Visa's Sue Gordon-Lathrop. "It doesn't serve any purpose to compete on technology. Rather the competition comes with the products and services based upon technology. By providing a common protocol it helps to insure that cards work consistently globally." The common protocol also makes it easier for issuer and acquirers/merchants to develop contactless solutions, she added.

"As with the work we have done with EMV, the purpose of reaching agreement on a common protocol is the first step to standardizing contactless payment," said Ms. Lathrop.

Cards and terminals supporting MasterCard and Visa contactless payment applications will conform to the same communications protocol and undergo equivalent testing, according to the two companies.

"The common contactless payment protocol will enable vendors to streamline product development and testing, leading to reduced implementation costs and faster time to market for financial institutions," said Ms. Rae. "It will also give merchants the assurance that a single point of sale terminal will support multiple payment brands and will require less time for terminal programming and testing."

It also aids merchants. "Agreeing to one common standard benefits all in the value chain," said Ms. Rae. "Now, merchants and terminal vendors can invest and deploy contactless devices, knowing they will only have to develop and support one communications specification, making the manufacturing process easier and less costly."

"Supporting a single common protocol will further accelerate the migration towards electronic payments, and deliver more payment choices to consumers." said Gaylon Howe, executive vice president, Global Product Platforms for Visa International.

What about credit cards from other companies, such as American Express' ExpressPay? "American Express, which has its own contactless card, was not involved in the agreement, but they may agree to use the format at a later date," said Ms. Rae. "MasterCard would be receptive to approaches from other payments associations interested in adopting the PayPass ISO/IEC
Implementation Specification."

She said it is also MasterCards intention "to use the protocol world-wide for all contactless programs. The U.S. rollout of MasterCard PayPass uses the implementation protocol, as do various trials and pilots springing up around the world, notably in Asia/Pacific."

But she cautioned that this agreement between MasterCard and Visa "only covers non-competitive aspects of the payment process. It is comparable to the long-standing agreements within the card industry that ensure all magnetic stripe payment cards can be used at the same terminals."

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Posted by keefner at 02:46 PM

January 11, 2005

Contactless Gaining Momentum

People already use their cellphones to read e-mail messages, take pictures and play video games. Before long, they may use them in place of their wallets.

Momentum Is Gaining for Cellphones as Credit Cards
By MATT RICHTEL

Published: January 10, 2005



People already use their cellphones to read e-mail messages, take pictures and play video games. Before long, they may use them in place of their wallets.

By embedding in the cellphone a computer chip or other type of memory device, a phone can double as a credit card. The chip performs the same function as the magnetic strip on the back of a credit card, storing account information and other data necessary to make a purchase.

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In Asia, phone makers are already selling phones that users can swipe against credit or debit card readers, in much the same way they would swipe plastic MasterCard or Visa cards. Trials are now under way to bring the technology to America, industry executives said.

Ron Brown, executive director of the Infrared Data Association, a trade group representing companies pushing the technology for cellphone credit cards, said that the new handsets could become "a major form of payment, because cellphones are the most ubiquitous device in the world." He added, though, that "cash will never go away."

Advocates say that consumers will readily embrace the technology as a way to pay for even small purchases, because it is less bother than taking a credit card out of a purse or parting with cash.

The impending changes to the cellphone happen to coincide with major shifts taking place in the banking industry. Since credit cards are still considered somewhat inconvenient, particularly for quick, small purchases, major credit card companies have developed "contactless payment" technologies for checkout counters that allow customers to wave their cards near an electronic reader without having to swipe the card or sign their name.

MasterCard, for example, has introduced a system called PayPass that lets cardholders wave a card in front of a reader to initiate a payment, much as motorists use E-ZPass and similar systems to pay tolls and ExxonMobil customers use SpeedPass to buy gas. Several major credit card companies issue PayPass cards; McDonald's has agreed to accept them at some restaurants.

And American Express announced late last year that it would have its system, ExpressPay, in more than 5,000 CVS drugstores by the middle of this year. Judy Tenzer, a spokeswoman for American Express, said the technology made it more likely that customers would use credit cards to pay for small items.

Cellphone makers are hoping these new payment systems will also make it easier to market handsets with credit card functions, although they could just as easily represent competition for the practice of paying by cellphone.

The marriage of cellphone and charge card poses some significant challenges, including security problems. To reduce fraud from stolen phones, consumers may be required to punch an authorization code into their phone each time a charge is made.

For more than a year, phone makers, software companies and computer chip manufacturers have been working to develop secure and reliable payment technology for cellphones. After the phone's chip is recognized by the electronic reader, the credit card account number will be verified, as it is now, and the price of the purchase will be added to the consumer's credit card bill.

The new phones may also be capable of being programmed for a prepaid sum from which payments could be deducted.

But there have been some glitches in the product trials, according to Jorge Fernandes, chief executive of Vivotech, a cellphone software company based in Santa Clara, Calif.

In two trials, one at a corporation in the Midwest and the other at Santa Clara University, Vivotech used infrared technology for communications between the phone and the card reader. Participants had to aim the cellphone at the reader in a certain way for the infrared beam to be picked up.

"People got very upset," Mr. Fernandes said. "Pointing your cellphone at a target is very difficult."

Mr. Fernandes said the company believed it might have solved that problem by switching to a technology that uses low-level radio signals. Last month, Vivotech began testing the technology, which allows users to wave the phone within a couple of inches of a reader, at a sports arena in the Atlanta area.

Cellphones are becoming mainstream payment devices in Korea and Japan. In Japan, NTT DoCoMo, the mobile phone operator, said that it had already sold more than a million phones equipped with chips that include the payment function.

More than 13,000 Japanese shops have electronic readers capable of communicating with the phones. For now, the phones are used mostly to debit a prepaid amount, which is deposited by plugging the phone into a machine similar to an A.T.M. that takes cash and credits the handset.

In South Korea, people are already using cellphones as credit cards, said Sue Gordon-Lathrop, vice president for the consumer products platform for Visa International. She said American consumers would eventually embrace these new functions, but acceptance could be slower than in Japan and Korea, where people are more comfortable with using phones for many purposes.

Also, she said, there are more cellphone operators in America, making it harder to set standard technology and business practices. "The phones are exciting, but it's going to be a long time" before a widespread base of merchants and consumers in America are equipped to use them, she said.

For now, some of the major American cellphone companies are monitoring the technology without committing to it. Jim Ryan, senior vice president of product development for Cingular Wireless, the country's largest cellphone provider, said the company was "closely watching" the progress in this field.

Posted by Craig at 02:42 PM

January 04, 2005

Sheetz Rolls Out PayPass

Sheetz, Inc., announced that it will be accepting MasterCard PayPass across its entire chain of stores.

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Sheetz Puts MasterCard PayPass to Work
January 4, 2005

ALTOONA, PA -- Sheetz, Inc., announced that it will be accepting MasterCard PayPass across its entire chain of stores. The convenience store chain said it's the first retailer in the nation to accept MasterCard International's radio-frequency (RF)-based payment option.

"Sheetz prides itself on being a pioneer in the convenience store industry, and being the first retailer to implement 'tap and go' payments across the entire chain is yet another example of our mission to continually improve our customers' shopping experience," said Louie Sheetz, executive vice president of marketing for Sheetz. "MasterCard PayPass leads the way in the RF-based payment segment and will provide Sheetz customers with more convenience and time savings at the checkout than ever before."

All 305 Sheetz locations will be equipped and ready to accept MasterCard PayPass in-store by March 1. Sheetz will be expanding PayPass acceptance to all of its stores' gas pumps throughout the spring of 2005.

MasterCard PayPass cardholders can pay for purchases at Sheetz by tapping their PayPass-enabled payment card on a specially equipped terminal that utilizes an RF chip to complete a payment transaction, said Sheetz, eliminating the need for customers to hand over their payment card to a merchant or manually swipe it through a reader. Moments after the cardholder taps his or her PayPass-enabled card, account details are communicated to the terminal and then processed through the MasterCard network for clearing and settlement.

According to Sheetz, the MasterCard PayPass streamlines customers' shopping experience by eliminating the need for customers to sign their payment card receipts for all sales under $25. Currently, more than 80 percent of convenience store transactions are less than $25.

Posted by Craig at 02:24 PM