Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Smart Posters and Mobile Marketing Are the Major Non-Payment Opportunities in $300 Million NFC Tag Market, Says ABI Research

Nov. 29, 2011, 3:55 p.m. EST
LONDON, Nov 29, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Smart posters and mobile marketing are the greatest opportunity for service providers and manufacturers of NFC tags; they account for over half of shipments to date and are expected to be the fastest growing segment, accounting for 70% of shipments in 2016. Companies, including Avery Dennison, Identive, and UPM Raflatac have all released products targeting the growing interest for the non-payment services that NFC enables. In total, this market is expected to be worth $298 million over the next five years.
"There are a number of high profile technology companies already rolling out smart posters and information pick-up using NFC," says John Devlin, group director, security and ID. "Companies such as Google, Nokia, and RIM, as well as innovative MNOs, are all exploring new business models and looking for the revenue opportunities outside of payments."
The ability to deploy, program, and quickly update NFC tags is what makes them so suitable for businesses and service providers in an area that is often price sensitive and needs to be able to react quickly to changing consumer trends. The ability to localize and tailor the offers, combined with the fact that there is little or no additional infrastructure required, makes NFC so well-suited to posters and other information pick-up services. Another beneficial factor: compared to Bluetooth and location-based services, NFC is opt-in by nature, giving the consumer more control and countering any concerns regarding privacy.
Devlin concludes, "Smart posters are not the only application for NFC tags; there are already large scale commercial systems in place for worker check-in within home healthcare. Further potential will also be realized as service providers develop plug-ins with gaming and social networking applications. The ability of NFC to extend companies' brands and mobile apps, making them more interactive within their physical surroundings, will allow them to improve customer loyalty and service experience."
ABI Research's new study, "NFC Tags," ( http://www.abiresearch.com/research/1008311-NFC +Tags) forecasts the demand and value of the primary applications for NFC tags, including smart posters, information pick-up, check-in, infotainment, and personalization, and other non-payment services.
The report forms part of ABI Research's RFID ( http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/RFID_Research_Service ) and Smart Cards & Embedded Security ( http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/Smart_Cards_and_Embedded_Security_Research_Service ) research services.
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research's worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 40+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com , or call +1.516.624.2500.
SOURCE: ABI Research

VersaPay Announces 2011 Third Quarter and Year to Date Results

VersaPay Corporation 

November 29, 2011 09:15 ET
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 29, 2011) - VersaPay Corporation (TSX VENTURE:VPY) ("VersaPay" or the "Company"), a provider of merchant credit, debit, gift and loyalty card payment processing and electronic bill presentation and payment solutions, today announced its financial and operational results for the three month and nine month periods ended September 30, 2011. All amounts are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted.
Q3 2011 Highlights
  • Delivered positive quarterly Adjusted EBITDA(1) and net income for the first time since VersaPay's inception
  • Recurring revenues grew 23% year over year reflecting our continued success in adding new customers and increasing transaction volumes from existing customers
  • Improvement in Adjusted EBITDA(1) to $0.1 million from $(0.2) million in Q3 2010, as a result of Company's sales growth and cost-cutting initiatives
  • Continued to invest in the VersaPay EMT product

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ViVOtech Contactless EMV and NFC Payment Software Powers Tri-Reader 3 for Cubic Transportation Systems

November 29, 2011 08:00 ET
Cubic and ViVOtech to Bring the Benefits of NFC-Enabled Mobile Payments to Public Transportation Systems Worldwide
SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire - Nov 29, 2011) - ViVOtech, the near field communication (NFC) software and systems company, today announced that its contactless Eurocard-MasterCard-Visa (EMV) and NFC payment software is being used by Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc., the transportation unit of Cubic Corporation (NYSECUB), to power the Tri-Reader 3, the first contactless smart card reader designed for use in public transport to process all industry standard contactless payments. The Tri-Reader 3 was developed by Cubic on behalf of Transport for London and the company has a worldwide license for its use for open payments. Cubic Transportation Systems is the world's leading provider of automated fare collection systems for public transportation, including bus, bus rapid transit, light rail, commuter rail, heavy rail, ferry and parking. In fact, every year, nearly 10 billion rides are taken worldwide using Cubic fare collection systems. Cubic's solutions and services include system design, central computer systems, equipment design and manufacturing, device-level software, integration, test, installation, warranty, maintenance, computer hosting services, call centre services, card management and distribution services, financial clearing and settlement, multi-application support and outsourcing services.
Cubic is using ViVOtech's contactless / NFC payment software, which enables acceptance of open contactless payment programs from American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa. Using ViVOtech software, the Tri-Reader 3 can now process bank-issued contactless EMV transactions from contactless cards that meet the financial industry's standards for contactless open payment, and recently was approved by EMVCo, American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. It also supports payments made with NFC-powered mobile handsets.
"It was important for Cubic to have VivoTech, with a large installed base of readers worldwide and experience in contactless open payments, alongside us in this development process," said Pradip Mistry, vice president, Engineering, for Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc. "With their help, we have been able to launch the first fully-accredited reader capable of reading all the major card types in combination with existing closed loop contactless cards and mobile NFC devices, anywhere in the world."
ViVOtech innovative solutions allow millions of consumers to make contactless payments with radio frequency-enabled credit/debit/prepaid cards and NFC mobile phones at more than 800,000 point of sale locations in 35 countries including at merchant stores, taxicabs, and vending machines. Working with Cubic Transportation Systems, ViVOtech is helping to bring the convenience of contactless and mobile payments to the public transportation industry globally.
"On any given day, we all make many different types of transactions, from purchasing our morning cup of coffee to paying the fare to ride public transportation," said Michael (Mick) Mullagh, ViVOtech chief executive officer. "NFC technology is not only useful for shopping and other purchases; it is also tremendously convenient for public transportation. In fact, we expect the public transportation sector to be an important driver in the growth of NFC. Cubic and ViVOtech offer a comprehensive solution designed specifically for public transportation operators that will support this growth."
About ViVOtechViVOtech, the near field communication (NFC) software and systems company, enables rich mobile commerce solutions for in-store payment, loyalty, marketing, and merchandising. Merchant, payment, mobile, web and advertising companies use ViVOtech solutions to enhance customer experience and grow their business. ViVOtech's NFC software and systems are the broadest, most tested and deployed worldwide. Founded in 2001, Silicon Valley-based ViVOtech provides the key building blocks of the NFC ecosystem: smart applications for enhancing the customer experience, wallet and trusted service manager (TSM) software, and point of sale systems. ViVOtech's investors include Alloy Ventures, Citi Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DFJ Gotham, EDBI, First Data Corporation, Miven Ventures, Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions, Nokia Growth Partners, NCR, SingTel Innov8 and Sprint. Join the NFC revolution at http://www.ViVOtech.com.

10 Biggest Obstacles in Mobile Communications

Guest Post from PhoneTVInternet.com

As the world goes more wireless by the day, the need for a strong, reliable and seamless nationwide network seems more critical than ever for the future of communications in America. Yet for all of the eggs we place in this wireless basket, there are some formidable roadblocks in the way of our getting there. In this article, we will examine the ten biggest obstacles in mobile communications:
  1. No Standardized Technology – You can’t expect harmony when everyone in the chorus is singing a different tune. Independent service providers have invested in different technologies, which creates additional cost to device manufacturers and software developers, as well as a barrier to creating a seamless nationwide network.
  2. Bandwidth – Even if all the players could agree on a standard platform, there is the matter of ever-increasing demands on available spectrum. Consumers are using bandwidth-gulping apps, video and data services at a pace that will soon stretch existing bandwidth to its limits.
  3. Demand – The smart phone is expected to eclipse the PC in sales by Q1 2012. This is indicative of a far greater demand for wireless services in the near future, as more consumers switch from feature phones to app-capable smart phones.
  4. Security / Privacy – Another obstacle to total wireless interconnectivity, for consumers and e-businesses is the security of their connections. Carriers need to agree upon standardized protocols to ensure the security and privacy of wireless transmissions across networks.
  5. Topography – Mountainous areas, and terrain where installing towers is impractical will continue to pose a challenge to having 100% network coverage.
  6. Structural Restrictions to Signal – Consumers will expect service wherever they take their handsets as they move away from the PC and go mobile. Interior locations – basements, metal-framed buildings as are often the case in the workplace, inhibit wireless signals.
  7. Device Compatibility – Handheld wireless device manufacturers would have to settle on a platform, or create a network protocol that works across all the varied platforms (Android/ iOS/ Blackberry; LTE/Wimax, etc.) in order for all consumer devices to have full functionality throughout the network.
  8. Roaming Agreements – Currently, mobile service providers have roaming agreements in place which provide a significant revenue stream. A disincentive to the practice would be needed, and likely an alternative revenue source, before a roaming-free nationwide network would be possible.
  9. Digital Literacy – As addressed in the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, a significant segment of the population would require training in order to adapt to wireless communication.
  10. Cost – Although the federal government has set aside stimulus funds to assist in the transition to broadband wireless, it would still take private funding, and significant investment by businesses for such things as infrastructure, web design, equipment and software purchases.

InComm Launches “A Million Options” Sweepstakes to Give Consumers the Chance to Win Extra Funds for Holiday Shopping

Five Winners to Receive $1,000 Vanilla Visa Gift Cards

ATLANTA – Nov. 29, 2011 – InCommthe world’s leading prepaid product and transaction services company, announced today its “A Million Options” sweepstakes, which offers entrants the chance to win one of five $1,000 Vanilla Visa Gift Cards. The Vanilla Visa offers a flexible gift option for the holidays, as it can be purchased at thousands of retailers nationwide and can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

“The holidays are a fun, yet busy time for people, and we’d like to help make the season extra special this year,” said Brooks Smith, president and CEO of InComm. “With ‘A Million Options’ sweepstakes, a few lucky winners will be able to use their Vanilla Visa Gift Cards to buy something special for themselves or someone they care about.”

Vanilla Visa gift cards can be purchased in any denomination between $20 and $500 and are available at thousands of retailers nationwide, including Office Depot, CVS/pharmacy, Walgreens and Rite Aid. In addition, they can be redeemed anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted, meaning they can be used as payment not only for gifts, but for food, household items and other necessities if the recipient chooses.

To promote the Vanilla Visa Gift Card and its “A Million Options” sweepstakes, InComm recently launched a national campaign that includes a social component, with tips, product information and sweepstakes information on Vanilla Card’s Facebook and Twitterpages.
To enter InComm’s “A Million Options” sweepstakes, now through December 16, 2011, please visit www.amillionoptions.com.

About InComm
InComm is the industry leading marketer, distributor and technology innovator of stored-value gift and prepaid products using its state-of-the-art point-of-sale transaction technology and payment solutions to revolutionize retail product sales and customer experiences. With over $13 billion in retail sales transactions processed in 2010, InComm is the nation’s largest provider of gift cards, prepaid wireless products, reloadable debit cards, digital music downloads, content, games, software and bill payment solutions. InComm partners with consumer brand leaders around the world to provide more than 225,000 retail locations the products and services their customers demand. Since 1992, InComm's patented technologies have made the buying process easier for consumers, while streamlining the selling process for product and retail partners. InComm is headquartered in Atlanta with offices in Australia/New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas and Utah. To learn more about InComm, visit www.incomm.com or call (800) 352-3084. Visit InComm Europe at www.incomm.com/uk.do.

Tap and Go Digital Receipts Now Available Through Proximiant

Retailers and Customers Can Track Purchases and Earn Rewards Hassle-free

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.Nov. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Proximiant, a provider of tap and go digital receipts, launched today, introducing a private and secure way for retailers and shoppers to track purchases and earn loyalty rewards, cash rebates and coupons without paper receipts, time-consuming signup requirements or membership cards.
Retailers of any size are now able to provide customers immediate access to a variety of programs using a phone-sized USB interface transceiver from Proximiant. The free transceiver easily plugs into a store's computerized point-of-sale system (POS) and launches within two minutes.
The transceiver's built-in technology allows it to communicate directly with mobile phones having a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip. When consumers shop at participating stores, they can tap their NFC-enabled phones on the transceiver devices to directly collect a digital copy of their receipt and loyalty rewards.
Much attention in the NFC space has been on mobile payment applications. Proximiant focuses on enhancing the shopping experience by providing itemized receipts for easy tracking of purchases, loyalty programs and coupons, regardless of how they pay.
Until the NFC-enabled phones are widely available, Proximiant is offering a bridge solution via a small tag that can be carried in a wallet or put on a key chain to allow shoppers the same tap-and-go capability.
Customers also serve to benefit from this technology through the secure "Digital Receipts" mobile app, which records all of their purchases at the time of sale, so they can manage their personal spending, collect loyalty points and cash back, while having the convenience of not carrying around paper receipts. In addition, they won't need to provide stores with any personal information, thereby safeguarding their privacy. All loyalty points and offers can be directly redeemed at participating stores using their mobile phones.
Other benefits for consumers include:
  • Rewards, refunds and exchanges without a special loyalty card or paper receipt since images with necessary data and bar codes show up on their app.
  • Ability to quickly access old receipts by inputting the store name or product keywords.
  • Receipts that remain completely private and secure.
  • Access to Proximiant's Web interface for receipts on their computer when they register their Proximiant account.  
  • Help the environment go green by no longer using paper receipts.

"The product is a win-win for both retailers and consumers," said Proximiant co-founder and CEO Fang Cheng. "Proximiant is the most efficient and secure way for retailers to extend their existing point of sale to an array of mobile loyalty and marketing programs without any IT overhead or customer signup process. For consumers, it makes shopping much more enjoyable and less of a hassle. The device saves companies an overhead investment and it saves customers from the time-consuming and expensive signup process."
Cheng and co-founders Edwin Evans and Thomas Ahn, both Vice Presidents of Engineering, gave Proximiant its name to transmit the message that merchants and customers are now in much closer proximity to one another.
To date, Proximiant has signed up a dozen stores in the San Francisco area and expects the number to increase as it rolls out more trials later this month and throughout December.
"We've gone with a small trial launch to ensure everything is running smoothly," Cheng said. "We expect to have about 50 retailers by year's end, mostly in the Bay area. By spring of 2012, we envision the device being in multiple metropolitan areas."
For more information, visit www.proximiant.com. Consumers can download the "Digital Receipts" app in the Apple iTunes Store or Android Market.
About Proximiant
Proximiant was founded in March 2011 and is a self-funded company based in the San Francisco, Calif., area. The small NFC device—the size of a smart phone—lets retailers' point-of-sale devices communicate directly with consumers' phones to track purchases and reward loyal customers with cash and receipts. Proximiant enhances the shopping experience for consumers by allowing them to pay with cash, checks, credit and debit cards, while also providing itemized receipts for easy tracking of purchases, loyalty programs and coupons. Its name was chosen to reflect the increased proximity between the service provider and end-user consumer. Both retailers and consumers will also be able to manage results online.
SOURCE Proximiant

Acculynk forms International Internet PIN Debit Consortium

First industry consortium to address Internet PIN debit as the cross-border payment method of choice
ATLANTA--()--Acculynk today announces the formation of the International Internet PIN Acceptance Consortium, for the purpose of enabling secure internet payments across international borders by establishing Acculynk’s PaySecure as the standard for processing internet PIN-debit transactions internationally. 
The Consortium’s mission is to enable internet PIN debit as a secure payment method for e-commerce merchants, financial institutions and online consumers across international borders. The purpose of the Consortium is to collaborate with networks and financial institutions in target markets to prioritize the integration of PaySecure, as well as to develop solutions necessary to ensure full compatibility across the array of processes adopted by individual markets.
“We need to ensure, as a collective body, that we establish mutually beneficial processes that facilitate the growth in international e-commerce by offering consumers easy, secure options for internet PIN debit.”
Currently cross-border e-commerce is hampered by the inability of merchants based in one country to accept payment from a consumer whose debit card is issued by a bank based in a different country. As internet transaction volume continues to grow globally each year and as the number of debit cards issued grows and consumer use of debit card increases, the ability to handle cross border transactions is becoming essential for consumers and e-commerce merchants. The Consortium will work to build a consensus among merchants and issuers to optimize growth in global e-commerce. The Consortium members plan to advance cross-border commerce with Canada and Latin America first and then rapidly progress beyond these countries.
“Consumers are driving the need for cross-border e-commerce. We believe that, together with this group of leading merchants, we can help establish standards that will allow us all to better meet consumers’ needs and help solve a real business problem for merchants,” notes Ashish Bahl, CEO, Acculynk. “We are involved in launching this Consortium because we enable PIN debit for e-commerce and can help merchants make cross-border e-commerce a reality with minimum investment.”
“Having this type of Consortium is important to the airline industry. PaySecure’s innovative solution for facilitating internet PIN debit acceptance in the US, offers a simple, cost-effective model that can readily be established as a standard for international e-commerce,” said Frank DiNuzzo, Managing Director, Market Performance of American Airlines. “We need to ensure, as a collective body, that we establish mutually beneficial processes that facilitate the growth in international e-commerce by offering consumers easy, secure options for internet PIN debit.”
The majority of consumers outside the US hold PIN-only debit cards which currently cannot be used for cross border internet purchases due to difference in transaction authentication and processing. Many countries do not maintain the infrastructure to support the underwriting of consumers for credit cards. An international standard based on PaySecure’s Internet PIN debit will enable millions of consumers worldwide to transact with internet retailers both in-country and across borders.
Membership in the Consortium is currently open to internet retailers and airlines that have partnered with Acculynk for PaySecure, but the Consortium is considering extending membership to all leading e-commerce merchants. The Consortium currently meets once a quarter as a formal body.
About Acculynk
Acculynk secures online transactions with a suite of software-only services backed by a patented authentication and encryption framework that provides greater security for issuers, EFT networks, merchants and payment processors. Acculynk’s PaySecure®utilizes a graphical PIN-pad for the secure entry of a consumer’s PIN online and is available to merchants through existing acquirer relationships, enabling speedy implementation. PaySecure is currently enabled on over 3,000 merchant websites. Acculynk has partnerships with 9 EFT networks to process PaySecure transactions and with six leading payment processors, and is certified with PULSE, First Data and Master Card, among other key industry leaders. Visit http://www.acculynk.com.

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