This is it – the last award category; Trailblazing and Innovation. This award is granted to those companies who the judges feel have done their best to look at this wonderful (and whacky!) world of contactless technology and give it a boost. Perhaps. Or a spin. Must be a new one though. Either way, we look for originality and innovation. The companies must forge new paths and, well, trail-blaze. Hence the name of the category.
So who do we have this year?
- NFC mobile wallet – Proxama
- NFC system enabling contactless payments with the iPhone – Device Fidelity
- EMV compliant mass transit initiative – Clear2Pay
- NFC for the iPhone – Wireless Dynamics
Proxama help organisations innovate services using consumer technologies. They’ve been around for a few years so they really know what they’re doing. They have recently developed a mobile wallet which is a client application that can be installed on NFC enabled mobile phones. The wallet allows users to draw funds down from their Tuxedo Money account, and make low value transactions at NFC enabled retailers. Proxama was lead systems integrator for the solution and use their existing mobile Contactless wallet application.
This solution allows mobile operators, retailers and handset manufacturers to short-cut the development cycle for bringing NFC payments to market. This is the first end-to-end contactless prepaid mobile phone payment solution in the UK. The mobile wallet is quick and simple to use, contactless payments are on average 12.5 seconds faster than cash payments, most consumers have their phone at hand. It replaces the need to carry multiple payment cards, and links all payment accounts onto one device. Consumers can monitor spending and budgeting via their handset, giving them further control over their finances.
Proxama are currently working with handset manufacturers and operators to deploy the same system into other handsets. The mobile wallet application is continuing to evolve as the different applications require it. We are certain that m-payments will revolutionise the way people access and manage their finances, and with retail outlets adopting contactless infrastructure at a fast pace, this could be even closer than even we imagined.
A lot was heard of about DeviceFidelity in 2010 when an announcement ‘slipped’ out about their system that could allow the Apple iPhone to conduct NFC payments. But who are they? Founded in 2007, DeviceFidelity, Inc. is a privately funded American corporation. Their core innovation is the first mobile contactless method that functions with any wireless service provider. Its simple plug-and-play integration makes it easy for both financial institutions and their customers to implement. The In2Pay iCaisse is a Near Field Communication (NFC) system that enables contactless payments with the iPhone.
Using the In2Pay microSD and specifically designed protective iPhone case, you will be able to make payments on the go at retail outlets around the world with just a wave of your iPhone. More secure and convenient than credit cards or cash, the In2Pay system gives you the ability to set, change and disable passwords using your iPhone touch screen. It also allows you to set and change payment preferences. Simply insert the In2Pay microSD into the iCaisse microSD slot, download the accompanying application from the Apple App Store and you are ready to begin using your iPhone for contactless payments. Since iCaisse4 is NFC compatible, you may use it anywhere there is an NFC contactless payment terminal.
Leveraging the plug-and-play nature of the In2Pay micro SD, the iCaisse makes it possible for iPhone users, regardless of wireless carrier or financial institution, to transform their iPhone into an NFC enabled device. With retailers increasingly offering contactless payments and POS terminal manufacturers including NFC as a standard, users will be able to make mobile transactions quickly, efficiently and securely. In addition, users can benefit from coupons and rewards that are offered with participating merchants, as well as utilize their iPhone to collect more information from smart posters. This “mobile wallet” will prove invaluable to customers and citizens.
Up next, is an EMV compliant mass transit initiative from Clear2Pay. In South Africa, the National Department of Transport has mandated the use of EMV compliant cards for all new mass transit initiatives. Clear2Pay is an innovative payments technology company focused on delivering globally applicable solutions for secure, timely and streamlined payments processing.
Fare collection in the South African public transport sector is mainly cash-based. However, as the country encounters an increasing amount of commuters relying on public transport, it has been decided to modernise the country’s infrastructure and services, transforming it into an integrated public transport system and implementing contactless Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) based on EMV banking payment standards. Whilst most contactless transport initiatives (such as Oyster, Calypso, ITSO,etc.) function in closed loop, this program is an open system based on a prepaid bank issued payment product, issued and acquired by participating South African retail banks:
- Built on field-proven, universal EMV technology
- Cards to be used by South African citizens are MasterCard PayPass M/chip Advance cards and Visa Paywave cards that are issued by banks
- More than just public transport fare payment, the same cards will be used as a “regular” contactless payment means in the retail sector
- It is Africa’s first EMV contactless public transport project
- Possibly the world’s first EMV contactless public transport project
Our final nominee for this, our final category is Wireless Dynamics with their iCarte. The iCarte has been deployed with Turkcell and Yapi Kredi in Turkey to allow iPhone users to make Visa mobile contactless payments in Europe and Wireless Dynamics Inc. is a global leader in ODM (Original Design and Manufacturing) services in the wireless device industry. The iPhone application developed by Wireless Dynamics allows the iCarte to be activated and personalised over the air using G&D’s TSM services. The application also allows users to make low value and high value payments, allows users to track their spending through the built in transaction tracker, to check the balance and to set up security settings based on customer preferences.
With iCarte and the Visa mobile payment application, the user gets full control over their payment product before (security pre-sets, security checks), during (payment authorisation, payment confirmation) and after (transaction tracker, balance) payment that makes the payment experience for customers more convenient, enjoyable and more secure than ever before. So far, about 8,000 iCartes have been issued throughout Europe.
And that’s it – all nine categories in their fullest including the final category; Trailblazing and Innovation. And so, as a final sign off, all that remains is for me to remind you in my customary pedantic fashion that the date is the 14th April. The place is London. And nine lucky companies are going to get a Monkey Award. Fingers crossed, it’s YOURS!