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31 באוגוסט 2014
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NFC chip finally spotted in Apple iPhone 6 leaks

One of the many rumors surrounding Apple’s plans to deliver its iPhone 6 lineup has concerned the presence (or not) of support for NFC. Granted, such talk is hardly new, and last year we were hearing about possible NFC support for the iPhone 5S – hell, we were even seeing NFC rumors surrounding the iPhone 5 back in 2012, continuing up until just hours before the phone’s launch event. So of course, they returned this year, with a flurry of new claims, and some circumstantial, if less-than-ironclad evidence. But this time we finally might see some results, and new imagery of the iPhone 6 motherboard appears to reveal the chip that will be responsible for bringing the smartphone NFC.

That tiny guy in the image above is supposedly it, an NFC controller from NXP Semiconductors. Besides giving the iPhone 6 the ability to conduct wireless payments, simplify device pairing, and facilitate content sharing between devices, we may see the same chip pop up in Apple’s rumored iWatch, bringing similar abilities to the wearable.

NFC still isn’t quite the huge success early proponents hoped it would become, but Apple could do wonders to help remedy that situation. Especially in the mobile payment sphere, conflicting software support has slowed adoption and harmed consumer interest, but Apple’s the kind of company with the clout to really force the industry’s hand and sort this mess out. As such, we’re quite looking forward to seeing whether or not this NFC support is confirmed on September 9, or if we’ll be looking at another year of iPhone NFC rumors ahead of us.


31 באוגוסט 2014
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אפל תערוך אירוע השקה מיוחד ב-9 בספטמבר

לפי הערכות, במסגרת האירוע עתידה החברה לחשוף דגמי אייפון חדשים, ואולי אפילו מוצר מחשוב לביש: "הלוואי שהיינו יכולים להגיד יותר"

עומר כביר כלכליסט

עכשיו זה רשמי: אפל תערוך ב-9 בספטמבר אירוע השקה מיוחד. לפי הערכות, במסגרת האירוע עתידה החברה לחשוף דגמי אייפון חדשים, ואולי אפילו מוצר מחשוב לביש.

ענקית הטכנולוגיה שלחה הערב לעיתונאים הזמנות לאירוע שמתעדת החברה לערוך ביום שלישי בעוד פחות משבועיים. כמיטב המסורת, ההזמנה קריפטית ולא חושפת הרבה על התכנים הצפויים באירוע: פרט לתאריך וללוגו החברה ברקע ההזמנה מופיע בה רק הכיתוב "הלוואי שהיינו יכולים להגיד יותר" (אמירה קצת מגוחכת, כי הרי אפל יכולה להגיד מה שהיא רוצה – אין חוק שמונע ממנה לחשוף את המתוכנן באירוע כבר עכשיו. כיתוב מדויק יותר היה "אנחנו רוצים ליצור מתח ובאזז אדירים ולכן לא נספר לכם כלום בשלב זה, כדי לתדלק מסכת שמועות והערכות מטורפת").

ההזמנה לאירוע ב-9 בספטמבר

לפי הערכות, החברה עתידה לחשוף באירוע שני דגמי אייפון חדשים, בגודל 4.7 אינץ' ו-5.5 אינץ', שיכללו שידרוגי חומרה מתבקשים כמו מעבד מהיר וסוללה חזקה יותר, שילוב של שבב NFC ושינוי עיצוב משמעותי.

בנוסף, כפי שדיווח אתמול בלילה אתר חדשות הטכנולוגיה re/code, אפל עתידה גם לחשוף באירועה מוצר מחשוב לביש חדש, מהלך שיהווה את השקת קטגוריית המוצרה החדש שלה, לראשונה מאז חשיפת האייפד ב-2010 ומותו של סטיב ג'ובס ב-2011. לא הרבה ידוע על מוצר זה, ואולם מרבית ההערכות מדברות של שעון חכם שזוכה בשלב זה לכינוי iWatch.

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13 במאי 2014
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Fidesmo unveils NFC ticketing service that stores multiple transit passes on one contactless card

By  NFCWorld

Updating the all-in-one Fidesmo transport card using an NFC-enabled mobile phone

Swedish startup Fidesmo has developed a service that lets NFC phone owners replace multiple, physical transport passes with a single contactless card.

New funds can be added to each service operator’s “card” on the go using a Fidesmo mobile app — eliminating the need to visit a physical agent to top up their balance and solving “the pain point of communicating with a contactless card after issuance”.

Using Fidesmo, cards from participating service operators are downloaded over the air to the user’s phone and then transferred on to the Fidesmo contactless card by touching it to the phone. The balance on each operator card can then be updated when new funds are purchased via the app, again by simply touching the Fidesmo contactless card to the phone.

When travelling, the Fidesmo app allows the user to select the correct card for the operator of the transportation service they will be using and then touch their contactless card to the operator’s reader in the usual way.

“The data is never really stored in the phone, but just passes through the phone to the card, so the communication is actually from the card all the way to the back end,” Fidesmo CEO Mattias Eld — a former TSM product manager at Ericsson — explains to NFC World+.

“The card for the correct operator is selected once and then stays selected until a new card is selected. So, if you are in the same city, you don’t need to reselect using your mobile phone all the time, you just do it once.

“When you actually use the card on board public transport, or whatever you use it for, the phone is not involved at all. The phone is only involved when you download the credentials to the card and you download those using NFC.

“If you compare it to what you can do today with mobile phones and buying tickets, it is not that easy to buy tickets with the phone. With this, you will be able to do it instantaneously and you can use the system straight away, without having to wait for input from the mobile network operators.”

Eld says he is not convinced people will want to “point their mobile phones at everything”, adding the card format is the one that most people feel comfortable using.

“People are used to using a card and, for some situations, I think the card is the most suited form factor that we have had for quite some time now and we have gotten used to it, so it makes more sense to use it. In many cases, it just makes sense to have your credentials stored somewhere else other than on your phone.

“The fact that people are comfortable with using cards already is a very important part of it. This is what people are using now and we are just making it a little bit easier to buy tickets, but the way you use it is exactly the same. It is a very minimal change but a step in the right direction; a very convenient direction.”

Fidesmo envisages a wide, and global, range of uses for their card, with cafe loyalty cards seen as a good fit alongside ticketing. Open APIs for developers are now open to allow them to build new services.

A video produced by Fidesmo shows how the service can be used to improve the customer experience:

“We expect to have the first live installation during this year,” Eld says. “We think that this can be a global service and we have a global ambition. For developers to sign up, they can be global. They can sign up anywhere, we can sell the card anywhere. Anyone can buy our card and start using it — there are no country restrictions on that.”


13 במאי 2014
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OMsignal launches biometric clothing that tracks the wearer’s health and fitness with BLE

By  NFCWorld

Sensors built into the shirt communicate with the user's phone via a Bluetooth 'little black box'

A Canadian startup has introduced a range of smart sports shirts that monitor the wearer’s heart rate, breathing and movement and then use Bluetooth LE to send the collected data to their smartphone for real time analysis.

OMsignal’s OM Biometric Smartwear range comprises four form-fitting compression shirts that work in conjunction with a mobile app and a Bluetooth “little black box” that is clipped on and off each garment as required.

Each shirt includes a range of health sensors that have been embedded into the fabric. “The sensors are knitted close to the heart to capture a robust electrocardiogram (ECG) reading, which deliver heart rate (BPM) and heart rate variability (HRV), providing the most accurate method of calculating the number of calories you burn and your physiological stress-level,” the company says. “Additionally, sensors on the chest measure respiration rate and balance as well as track activity levels through an accelerometer.”

“OM shirts monitor your activity, physiological stress and fitness levels, giving you total control over your fitness and everyday performance,” the team says. “Each of the four shirts include health sensors embedded into the fabric that measure your biometric data in real-time and relay this information to your personal dashboard on the Omsignal app.

“The OM app translates the users’ unique bio-signal into personal actionable insights. The Omsignal shirts can tell you what’s up with your body so you can improve how you manage your health, gain actionable insight and meet your fitness goals.”

“Each style tracks your body’s most important biometric data and vital signs including heart rate, breathing rate, breathing volume, movement (including steps and cadence), movement intensity, heart rate variability and calories burned. Omsignal shirts also offer sports-specific data such as effort expended and breathing rate, heart rate zone tracking and heart rate recovery.”

“Information is immediately relayed from the shirt through the little black box to the phone via Bluetooth. The little black box is clipped onto the shirt and ensures that all data is immediately available in the Omsignal iOS app, as long as the phone is in Bluetooth range.

“The data within the Omsignal app is private to you, helps you track your progress and gives you real-time feedback, actionable insights and regular health summary and fitness email reports of your progress.”

The four shirts are available to pre-order for shipping “in the summer of 2014″ with prices starting at US$79 plus a one-off US$119 cost for the Bluetooth black box.


13 במאי 2014
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UK shopping centre runs multi-retailer NFC marketing pilot

By  NFCWorld

Solihull's Touchwood shopping mall has a multi-retailer NFC-based marketing programme

A shopping centre in Solihull, UK is piloting a service that lets shoppers access discounts and promotions from multiple retailers by tapping their phone against NFC-enabled posters displayed in the windows of participating stores.

Merchants participating in The Touchwood Centre’s pilot include The Fragrance ShopRitualsHotel ChocolatBella ItaliaCoast to Coast and Slug and Lettuce.

When a shopper reads one of the vinyl posters with an NFC phone, they are directed to a mobile-optimised landing page that provides details of an offer available from that merchant that can be redeemed in-store. The process of redeeming the offers will be managed by each individual retailer, Touchwood says.

“At Touchwood, we recognise the importance of continually enhancing our guest experience to provide both added value to our loyal customer base and offer exciting reasons for new shoppers to visit the centre,” says Lucy Burnett, the mall’s marketing manager.

“Our NFC campaign not only enables us to provide a unique shopping experience for our guests utilising the technology already in their pocket, but it also highlights the breadth of brands we have in centre. We’re confident that the initiative will prove very popular and look forward to developing the campaign further going forward.”


13 במאי 2014
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Brightwire: Apple signs mobile payments deal with China UnionPay

By  NFCWorld

“Apple is likely to incorporate a near field communication (NFC) payment function in the next generation iPhone and has reached an agreement with China UnionPay on a mobile payment service,” investment newswire Brightwire reports, citing “a source close to the matter”.

“Under the deal with China UnionPay, users would be able to download the bank card organization’s app to Passbook in their iPhones and make mobile payments on over three million China UnionPay ‘QuickPass’ POS machines in China,” Brightwire says.

“Currently China UnionPay is developing a system that follows its PBOC QuickPass standard which is compatible with Apple’s iOS. Major Chinese banks have been invited to participate in the project.”


13 במאי 2014
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nTrust pilots Bluetooth payments in Canada

By  NFCWorld

nTrust Estimote payment app

Canadian payments and money transfer provider nTrust has begun piloting a new mobile payments service that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons placed in stores to make wireless purchases.

nTrust is using hardware from Estimote for the pilot. “Estimote Beacons use Bluetooth Smart technology to transmit context and micro-location data to smartphones within range — allowing nTrust members the ability to locate merchants using the nTrust app,” the company said.

“For iPhone users, we use iBeacon technology to determine the iOS device’s proximity to the Estimote Beacons located at the merchant.

“Once a merchant is located, the app allows nTrust members to make wireless purchases using a secure connection to the nTrust servers, via Wifi or cellular. Merchants simply send a request to the member for the amount owed, and the member pays for the item from the funds in their nTrust account in real time — eliminating the need for physical credit cards at the consumer’s end and card readers on the merchant side.”

nTrust chief experience officer Rod Hsu explained to NFC World+ that the interaction between the consumer and the merchant “all happens within the nTrust infrastructure at that point”.

“We know the customer, we know who the merchant is. It is instantaneous because it is all housed within the nTrust infrastructure. It is low integration in terms of the Estimote Beacons themselves, because we can place them anywhere merchants wish,” he added.

“When they become an nTrust merchant, we provide them with, and register, the particular beacons. It doesn’t integrate directly with the current POS systems; when we do the onboarding process, a merchant would opt to get a merchant cloud wallet and all the interactions happen there, so it is an alternative type of system.

“We are piloting with a couple of small micro-businesses that are very keen and interested in using this system.”

Merchants are set up with a complimentary Estimote Beacon and are charged processing fees of 1% — and nTrust will donate 25% of integrated merchant fees to a local charity of the merchant’s customers’ choice. Merchants can also use the platform to push offers to customers when they come within range of their store, while consumers can get a free nTrust Cloud Money Prepaid MasterCard they can use to make payments at any MasterCard merchant.

“nTrust has purchased the beacons and it is basically a cost to us,” added Mr Hsu. “We don’t translate that back down to the merchants. It is basically a benefit to the merchant for onboarding with nTrust.”


13 במאי 2014
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Vodafone adds support for barcode loyalty and membership cards to NFC wallet

By   NFCWorld

Bluesource's Mobile-Pocket app

MOBILE WALLET: Bluesource’s app stores card details and presents an image of the right card at the checkout

Mobile network operator Vodafone is expanding the functionality of its mobile wallet beyond NFC with a deal to add Austria-based Bluesource’s Mobile-Pocket technology to the service, enabling customers to store hundreds of loyalty, membership, transit and promotional cards in their Vodafone wallet by simply scanning them in using the camera on their smartphone.

“The days of searching a bag or drawer at home for supermarket loyalty cards, paper coupons or gym membership identification are over thanks to a new mobile app available from Vodafone,” the carrier says. “Customers can now electronically load all their plastic cards straight into Vodafone’s mobile wallet located on their smartphone.”

The deal will see Bluesource providing the carrier with a Vodafone Wallet version of Mobile-Pocket, which currently has more than one million users. Customers will then be able to load their physical plastic cards onto their smartphone by either photographing both sides of the card with their smartphone camera or manually typing in the card number. At the checkout, they will then be able to bring up that merchant’s card from the app and show the cashier a single view of their card that displays both the front and the barcode on the back.

“Online templates already exist for a large number of loyalty cards from more than 1,500 leading service providers, including retailers, event organisers, transport companies and advertisers,” Vodafone explains. “If a user can’t find the card they want, they can create a new template on their phone.”

“This service is free of charge to use and will sit within the Vodafone mobile wallet. It will be progressively rolled out in countries where Vodafone has already launched its mobile wallet, starting in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain from this month with other countries expected to follow during this year.”

“Our customers want to take advantage of as many club, retail and membership offers as possible, but the number of plastic cards often exceed the capacity of their physical wallets,” says Stefano Parisse, Vodafone’s group consumer services director.

“Vodafone’s mobile wallet, when used with the mobile pocket app, removes that problem by allowing a user to load a limitless number of loyalty cards directly onto their phone. Participating retailers also benefit since they will be able to send vouchers and special offers directly to the Vodafone mobile wallets of their regular customers.”


27 בינואר 2014
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אתם עוד תשלמו על זה – בסמארטפון

ההבטחות שיום אחד נוכל לשלם על כל דבר עם המכשיר הסלולרי נשמעות כבר שנים, אך מסרבות להפוך למציאות; מי אשם במצב, האם הוא בדרך לפתרון, אילו אפליקציות מאפשרות לכם לשלם עם המכשיר כבר היום ומתי (והאם) נוכל לזרוק את הארנק לפח?

יאיר מור | מגזין mako

"מאה ושניים שקל, שמונים אגורות", אמרה הקופאית בסופרמרקט, וישראל ישראלי השיב בשליפת הסמארטפון מהכיס ונפנופו בסמוך למסוף הקופה. למונית שחיכתה לו בחוץ – הרי הוא הזמין אותה דרך אפליקציה – הוא שילם בלי לדבר בכלל עם הנהג, על ידי אישור ההעברה שהציג לו מסך הסלולרי. את כרטיסי הכניסה למופע שנסע אליו אחרי הנחת שקיות הקניות בבית הוא בכלל לא ראה – הוא רק הזמין אותם מראש, בסלולר, ושער הכניסה לאולם נפתח אוטומטית כאשר התקרב אליו. על החניה הסמוכה הוא שילם – איך לא – דרך הטלפון.

כך נראים החיים בעשור השני של המאה ה-21, כפי שתוארו בשנים האחרונות על ידי אינספור גופים וחברות. את הכיסים הנפוחים אצל הגברים ותיקי היד המסורבלים אצל הנשים החליפו המכשירים הדקיקים שגם ככה יש לכולנו בהישג יד, והשימוש במזומן נשאר נחלתם של צרכני שירותי מין וסמים בלבד. רק בעיה אחת יש כאן: במציאות זה פשוט לא קרה. רובנו המוחלט עדיין מסתובבים עם ארנקים, כיסים ו/או תיקים עמוסים מטבעות, שטרות, כרטיסי אשראי ומועדוני לקוחות.

יש לך סמארטפון לפרוט לי?

חזון הארנק הסלולרי, כפי שמכונה המציאות המתוארת לעיל, אמנם טרם התגשם, אך בכל זאת קורם לאיטו עור וגידים – או לפחות מסופים ואפליקציות. בשנה וחצי האחרונות הושקו בישראל מספר פתרונות לביצוע תשלומים באמצעות הטלפון, ויותר ויותר שירותים שאנו צורכים ניתנים לתשלום ללא צורך בהעברת מזומן או גיהוץ כרטיס אשראי, אלא בהקלקה על כפתור במסוף התקשורת שנמצא בכל כיס.

כך, לדוגמא, לאחר שחוללה מהפכה בתחום שירותי המוניות לפני כשנתיים, לפני מעט יותר משנה החלה חברת הסטארט-אפ "גט טקסי" לאפשר תשלום על הנסיעות מתוך האפליקציה. לאחר הזנת פרטי כרטיס האשראי לאפליקציה, בסוף כל נסיעה תקבלו הודעה על מחיר הנסיעה, תתבקשו לאשר ותוך שניות התשלום יועבר וקבלה תנחת אצלם במייל.

המשך לקרוא ←


26 בינואר 2014
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דיווח: אפל מפתחת ארנק סלולרי

נמרוד צוק כלכליסט

בכירים בחברה מנהלים מגעים עם גורמים בתחום שירותי התשלום המקוונים, במטרה לאפשר למשתמשי האייפון והאייפד לשלם באמצעותם על מוצרים בחנויות. לפי הערכות פורסטר, אפל תוכל להפוך לשחקנית מפתח בתחום

גוגל Wallet, מאחוריך: אפל מפתחת פתרון משלה לתשלומים מהנייד. הוא אמור לאפשר לבעלי מכשירי אייפון ואייפד לשלם באופן פשוט באמצעות המכשיר עבור מוצרים שהם קונים בחנויות.

אדי קיו, בכיר באפל שאחראי על אייטיונס, נפגש לאחרונה עם מנהלים בחברות טכנולוגיה אחרות במטרה לדון במיזם, לטענת הוול סטריט ג'ורנל. בנוסף, מינתה החברה את ג'ניפר ביילי, שעסק'ה בניהול החנויות המקוונות של החברה, לאחראית על הקמת המערכת. החברה שומרת לעת עתה על מעטה חשאיות סביב הפרויקט, ומונעת מהבכירים הקשורים אליו להתראיין בנושא.

מכשיר האייפון 5S. יהפוך לארנק?

כיום משמשת פלטפורמת התשלומים של אפל בעיקר לקניות בחנויות המקוונות שלה, כגון רכישת אפליקציות, מוזיקה, סרטים וספרים; המשתמש מזין את פרטי הכרטיס האשראי שלו בעת יצירת חשבון ולאחר מכן יכול לבצע רכישות באמצעות שם וסיסמה בלבד. בנוסף, החברה מאפשרת לשלם עבור מוצרים מסוימים בחלק מהחנויות הפיזיות שלה על ידי סריקת קוד המוצר באמצעות הטלפון, אבל אינה מציעה עדיין שירות דומה בחנויות אחרות.

ענף שיגיע ל-90 מיליארד דולר

החברה חוקרת את נושא התשלומים הסלולריים במשך שנים, כאשר כבר ב-2008 היא רשמה למשל פטנט על קופון דיגיטלי – סריקת כרטיס להופעה או אירוע ספורט לטלפון. ב-2012 היא בחנה אפשרות לשחרור ארנק דיגיטלי, שנגנזה בעקבות חששות החברה כי שמה יקושר בחוויות קניה שליליות של לקוחות ובתחילת 2013 הצהיר מנכ"ל אפל טים קוק כי מדובר בענף שעדיין נמצא בחיתוליו.

מלבד גוגל, פעילות בתחום גם פייפאל, אמזון וחברות סטארט-אפ כגון Square של ג'ק דורסי או סטרייפ. כולם מתמודדים על מקום בענף – שצפוי לטפס ל-90 מיליארד דולר ב-2017, על פי נתוני חברת המחקר פורסטר. להערכת החברה, אפל יכולה להפוך לשחקנית מפתח בתחום.


26 בינואר 2014
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Apple patent combines NFC, Bluetooth and WiFi for mobile payments

By  NFCWorld

A newly published Apple patent application uses a secure element in a mobile phone to store cardholder data, NFC to initiate a transaction and Bluetooth or WiFi to complete the processing of a transaction and return coupons and other information to the customer's device.

A "secure enclave", believed to employ the same technology used in NFC secure elements and "chip and pin" smart cards, is already included in Apple's iPhone 5S and used to store the user's fingerprint template for its recently introduced TouchID biometric verification feature. Apple has not yet included an NFC antenna in any of its devices, however.

In US patent number 20140019367, Method to send payment data through various air interfaces without compromising user data, Apple sets out a system that uses a secure element to store payment card data. This data could then be sent directly from the secure element to the merchant's POS terminal via NFC in the usual way or, alternatively, NFC could be used only to initiate a transaction.

In this case, once an initial link-up had been established via NFC, payment card data would be sent from the secure element to the application processor and then on to the POS terminal, via WiFi or Bluetooth, in an encrypted format — using an alias, cryptographic data and a shared secret known only by the secure element and a backend processor — since, as Apple explains, "the confidentiality of data sent to the application processor may be compromised, eg, by a rogue application."

A diagram shows how Apple's idea worksPATENT: A diagram shows how Apple's system works. Click to enlarge.

The advantage of this approach, the patent says, is that NFC establishes a secure link quickly and conveniently at a point of sale but:

Transactions that include sending additional data between the POS terminal and the portable device, such as additional payment information, coupon offers, coupon data, and the like, can continue for some time, during which the portable device is kept in the same location within centimetres of the POS terminal.

Holding or setting the device near the POS terminal becomes inconvenient for users, so NFC is less desirable for longer transactions such as those that involve transferring more data than used by the payment information or use more time than used in the NFC connection establishment process.

The establishment of the NFC link, which occurs quickly, is referred to herein as an initial "bump" because the devices may touch each other momentarily when the NFC connection is being established.

The system could also be used to make online purchases, Apple adds, as well as in an offline retail environment, in cooperation with a partner merchant acquirer or card network.


26 בינואר 2014
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Kyivstar and Alfa-Bank launch NFC payments in the Ukraine

By  NFCWorld

Alfa-Bank and mobile network operator Kyivstar have begun testing the Ukraine's first NFC mobile payments service. The pilot is expected to lead to a full commercial rollout across the country.

The launch follows an announcement in June 2013 that Russia-based Alfa-Bank was to test NFC in both Russia and the Ukraine in partnership with Vimpelcom, Kyivstar's parent company, andMasterCard. The partners are using UpTeq NFC SIMs supplied byGemalto for the pilot.

Some 200,000 of Kyivstar's 25m subscribers are currently equipped with an NFC phone and there are an estimated 22,000 contactless payment terminals available in Ukraine.

"Kyivstar is committed to delivering an outstanding mobile payment experience," says Alexey Kireev, the carrier's head of new business development. "Our goal is to continue developing mobile finance products at Kyivstar extensively in 2014. We are glad to be working with one of the world's most trusted partners for NFC."

NFC "offers Alfa-Bank customers a trendy, ubiquitous payment method," adds Piotr Kaczmarek, director of retail business at Alfa-Bank Ukraine.

"With the booming in contactless equipment at the point of sale in the country, this is the perfect timing for mobile payment introduction," says Gemalto's Philippe Cambriel.