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Google & Vivotech Gear Up for NFC Rollout

Will you give up cash and privacy in exchange for making mobile electronic payments from a smartphone? The tap of the phone on the Near Field Communication (NFC) terminal reader will provide manufacturers three important pieces of information that will help forecast product demand: user name, location, and intent.

It turns out there are close to one million readers supporting Vivotech NFC payment software and readers installed in stores worldwide, just waiting for transaction-ready phones. Vivotech founder Mohammad Khan estimates his company holds 70 percent market share worldwide for NFC payment software and readers, which supports Google Wallet at point-of-sale terminals in retail stores.

{complink 2294|Google} licenses Vivotech's technology to enable payments and conduct transactions, Khan said. The software lets consumers download plastic credit cards into their NFC-supporting smartphone. Khan calls it the “one-tap checkout” for everything from point-of-sale (PoS) terminals to smart posters that enable consumers to download coupons on to their phone or even make purchases. The first pilot for smart posters occurred in Taiwan in February 2007, for MasterCard.

Banks will use Vivotech's over-the-air (OTA) technology to securely provision credit, debit, prepaid, and other accounts to mobile phones for use through hundreds of thousands of Vivotech NFC readers and NFC-enabled media, such as smart posters. The software aims to give banks control over the OTA provisioning process and ensures security from behind their firewall to Google Wallet software located inside the mobile phone. But is it really that secure?

Vivotech's long-term strategy turned it from a pure play technology manufacturer into a mobile advertising and marketing company as it makes plans to build out services supporting NFC for Google. As advertising and marketing services continue to evolve, ads gain value when linked with offers and coupons. It's important to get the consumer interested in trying the product. That interest can have an impact on the price of products, influenced by recommendations and reviews on social sites.

NFC devices continue to drive interest; mobile payment network Isis recently got an infusion of $100 million from Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc., and T- Mobile USA. The carriers created an alliance to grab a piece of the market for mobile commerce. The hardware and software to support the technology and transactions should launch in Salt Lake City and Austin by mid-2012. Isis will compete with Google's Wallet offering on a variety of phones from Google, Samsung Electronics, Research in Motion (RIM), and others.

As for Vivotech, the company began in 2002 supporting wireless transactions for MasterCard in Orlando. Installation in Dallas followed the next year to support MasterCard's and Nokia's mobile payment program, as well as in Phoenix for American Express.

By the end of 2012, most smartphones will become NFC-enabled. Will you buy one for personal or business use, and will your company tap into the data from NFC purchases to forecast demand or launch advertising and marketing programs?

15 comments on “Google & Vivotech Gear Up for NFC Rollout

  1. t.alex
    September 15, 2011

    I am wondering if this technology will be coming with latest Google's Motorola phone or just a library inside the Android OS so other Android players can use the same hardware from Vivotech?

  2. jbond
    September 15, 2011

    Personally I think the idea is great and would work well for some people that don't like to carry around too much other than a cell phone. How many times have you ran to the store grab your phone and keys and when you got to the store realized you forgot your wallet. If you had this software, and obviously if the store had the terminals, you would be set. Personally I want to see it used more often and am confident about the security and my information before I would personally use it.

  3. Daniel
    September 15, 2011

    Laurie, this is may be true with almost all types of payments through mobiles. In most of the cases we may not know about the personal details the system is tapping. I think NFC payment mechanism is using almost the same Bluetooth technology.

  4. Laurie Sullivan
    September 15, 2011

    I am looking forward to the roll out to test the technology. At a conference years ago, NXP demonstrated a cashless electronic payment mobile system for vending machines that I got a chance to try it. But I don't think consumers should go totally cashless for two reasons.

    The first ties into the recent blackout southern California experienced. Banks, gas stations, stores and more shut down due to a lack of electricity and inability to process transactions. Granted, technology will become worthless during disasters and loss of power, including cellular service. 

    The second links in with privacy. The bank processing the transaction, Google and partners will have a record of all mobile cashless payments. No doubt they will serve up ads related to the transactions. When mobile links more cleanly with TV programming and online Web surfing, think of the possibilities. Companies are already linking TV watching with Web browsing activity to serve up ads online. 

     

  5. itguyphil
    September 15, 2011

    I can just imagine Google mouth-watering over the ability to hold my purchasing history in their datastores. I thought them knowing how I often I check ESPN was valuable. Now how often I fill up my tank with gas, that's a whole different animal.

  6. _hm
    September 17, 2011

    In general, we have many credit cards and we use it differently for suitable purpose. If I have one mobile, how many credit cards can I store? How do I select which credit card to use?

    Also, what are chances of getting billed wrongly? Will this process be insured from CC company or mobile vendor?

    It may be good that, with this technology in action, we may get new mobile phone free from some Credit Card organization.

  7. SunitaT
    September 19, 2011

    I think the idea is great and would work well for some people that don't like to carry around too much other than a cell phone.

    @jbond, Although I agree with you that this works well for people who dont want to carry around too much other than a cellphone. But what will happen if you loose your cellphone ? All you crucial data will be compromised, so I feel its better if we diversify our crucial data rather than having it inside cellphone.

  8. jbond
    September 19, 2011

    @tirlapur, yes, losing your cell phone would cause a big disturbance, but the same would happen if you lost your purse or wallet. Any credit cards you were carrying would be subject to unlawful charges. This brings me back to the security issues I brought up. If the data is encrypted and their needs to security checks on your phone to use it, then it's going to be safer. Might work for some people, but I need to see extensive use and safety precautions before I would go down that route.

  9. Mr. Roques
    September 19, 2011

    What will drive NFC forward? Google is doing its job but will manufacturers buy in first? Will they need sellers commitment before hand?

    I've always liked using mobile technology in the banking industry. lets hope for the best.

  10. Wale Bakare
    September 19, 2011

    Mr. Roques, as per NFC manufacturers buy or not. I think, it needs publicity as well  market packaging approach.

    Take cloud computing for an instance – in its earlier stages, panic and fear about its models,  CEOs and top businesses' executives were having headache about its fitting into business scenarios and adoption. Today, cloud computing looks like best approach to most businesses of all levels in achieving IT infrastructure's cost reduction.

  11. JADEN
    September 22, 2011

    As a matter of fact, the use of Google wallet will make a lot of sense, with the value of not having to carry around various credit cards and instead just use a cell phone to make payment.

  12. t.alex
    September 24, 2011

    I think it is even at lower power than bluetooth and more secure.

  13. Kunmi
    September 24, 2011

    @Jaden, It is not that I want to resist change but carrying wallet with credit card will be difficult to eliminate. We have tendency to misplace phones or forget to charge it at times. You may be without your cell phone and you need to purchase something. But as for the wallet, as long as you know that your driver's license has to be with you at all times that you get into your car, you can hardly forget your credit cards or check cards. I agree that google wallet is great when someone is keeping your personal information on the server that can be crashed and filtered…… it is more risky than to take ownership of your information to certain degree.

  14. Kunmi
    September 24, 2011

    Not all things that glitters are gold. If you loose your card, in a minute, you can call the bank and disable it. If you loose your phone, you are putting yourself into serious emotional disturbances before you can have access to phone. Whereas, the technology awareness is at alarming rate in the west. Anyone must have empty your account before you get another phone to deactivate it. I will be skeptical before I even try to use google wallet. I do not blame you for your opinion on this matter also.

  15. Mr. Roques
    October 28, 2011

    But it will need one big company to subsidize the equipment to local shops, maybe a big bank can do that. Having expensive end user equipment is always a limitation for technology adoption (think BluRay, 3D TV goggles, etc).

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