Friday, 22 March 2013

Visa CEO, Charlie Scharf, indicates fees for PayPal

Visa CEO, Charlie Scharf, indicates fees for PayPal

Visa chief executive Charlie Scharf has indicated that he will follow the lead of rival MasterCard and introduce a 'digital wallet' fee on firms such as PayPal.
Earlier this year MasterCard gave notice that from this summer it plans to start charging a fee on 'staged' digital wallets such as PayPal, Google Wallet and Square.

According to Reuters, when asked yesterday if Visa was planning to follow suit, Scharf told the Barclays Emerging Payments Forum: "I think it is totally......... to read the full Finextra web article click here

Consulting Smart Ltd provide specialist consultancy on the design and deployment of smart card and NFC technologies. For more information on how we can help your organisation realise the full benefits please see or email us at

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Consulting Smart confirmed speakers at NFC Payments Global Summit 2013

Come and meet Consulting Smart at...

Steve Beecroft will be talking about another 'industry first' by Consulting Smart at the NFC Global Payments Summit 2013 on Thursday March 21st in London.

Steve led the development and implementation of the first NFC open wallet for American Express, in partnership with ISIS. Not only did this put American Express at the forefront of NFC development, 3 months after the pilot roll out, transactions are growing at a rate of 300% a month. To receive a copy of the presentation used by Steve on the day click here

Want to know more about possibilities and potential pitfalls of NFC wallets? Contact 

Consulting Smart Ltd provide specialist consultancy on the design and deployment of smart card and NFC technologies. For more information on how we can help your organisation realise the full benefits please see or email us at

Turkcell’s mobile payment reach 1m customers

With the initial success of Turkcell’s mobile wallet, the company is talking about international alliances, says CIO Ilker Kuruöz. It already sells its software to other operators, he tells Alan Burkitt-Gray

Turkcell’s mobile payment reach 1m customers

The time to get innovations to market is one of the big headaches for chief information officers like Ilker Kuruöz of Turkcell. “We have a lot of issues around time to market— and the whole industry is struggling with the challenge of coming up with new services in order to generate new revenues.” Turkcell is taking on the challenge — and doing more, by selling some of its products to other telecoms operators. 

The whole industry, says Kuruöz, who has been chief information and communication officer at Turkcell since September 2009, is looking for new services to generate revenue as traditional sources — voice and text messages — go into long-term decline. “We are losing ground in voice and SMS. “We’re looking at areas such as mobile finance, and entertainment services such as IPTV and mobile TV, which provide valuable content to our customers on multiple screens.” Turkcell already has an active mobile payment system, a project called Turkcell Cüzdan, Turkish for “wallet”, in October 2012 with the aid of Garanti Bank and MasterCard. Cenk Bayrakdar, the CTO of Turkcell who introduced the service, has now left the group and is starting a venture capital company, says Kuruöz. “The project has been successful,” he adds. “It has been one of the most advanced mobile payment solutions. So far we have reached almost a million customers and 400,000 credit cards are linked to people’s mobile wallets.” 

Those figures indicate that the project appears to be running ahead of expectations. When Bayrakdar spoke to Global Telecoms Business in late 2012 he said: “We hope to activate 500,000 users by the end of the year and we hope to have two million active users by the end of 2013.” Now, Kuruöz says of Turkcell Cüzdan: “We are pushing hard for penetration and increasing transactions.” 
Credit card link     
The company is promoting two separate solutions, he adds. “We have payment from the bill, which is a micro-payment solution, or if you attach your credit card to your mobile wallet, the limit is your credit card limit. If you have the limit, you can go to as much as you like.” And the system is being accepted, he says. “It’s getting more and more traction.” 
The idea of offering Turkcell Cüzdan as a managed service for other operators — suggested in the GTB interview by Bayrakdar — is still being considered, says Kuruöz. “We are still in discussions with other operators on the opportunities. And we are is talks with a couple of global players about extending the partnership to other countries.” 
What does the term “global players” mean? Credit card companies? Kuruöz smiles and says: “This is something we can’t say.” But the experience in Turkey has been good so far, with penetration increasing and the number of transactions increasing. “We have a couple of new features coming in that will increase the volume of transactions.” Again, he’s unwilling to share details at the moment. “It will be a surprise,” says Kuruöz. The wallet at the moment supports transactions based on NFC — near-field communications — which allows users to make a payment by tapping a terminal at the check-out. “Many cafés and small restaurants already support NFC transactions,” he explains. 
Web transactions              
“But the biggest potential is in e-commerce,” says Kuruöz. By this he means web-based transactions where — in most parts of the world — people type in their credit card numbers to complete payment and buy books, tickets for travel or events, music, groceries or other goods and services. “You can type in your telephone number without giving your credit card number,” says Kuruöz. “It’s much more secure than using your credit card. Would you prefer giving your phone number to the e-commerce merchant or your credit card — and you give your phone number anyway, because they ask for your shipping address and phone number.” 
The website has to be enabled to accept a transaction via Turkcell phone number, he confirms. Amazon does not yet have a Turkish service, but the system is being used by local online shopping sites, he says. “Many of the leading e-commerce sites in Turkey support our payment solution.” 

Kuruöz takes a wide technical responsibility for the systems at Turkcell, including the OSS and BSS that are linked to e-payment services. His responsibilities at the company are “much wider than OSS”, he says. “I’m CIO and my responsibilities cover BSS, OSS, plus value added services, ERP and all IT.” And that includes services to the consumer such as the mobile wallet service. 

Turkcell — which operates in eight countries and territories in addition to Turkey — has its own billing solution, says Kuruöz, who used to be a divisional manager at Garanti Technology, part of Garanti bank, and a senior manager at Accenture. 
The mobile wallet is integrated with the charging system and the billing system, says Kuruöz. “Turkcell is one of the leading operators. We have 35 million subscribers in Turkey and 68 million in total. Around 38% are postpaid.” 

The company is “heavily investing in charging capabilities” and the focus at the moment is real-time charging. Most operators have separate charging systems, one of prepay customers and one for postpaid customers, “but we in the process of merging them into a single solution to do real-time charging”.               
Parallel running               
When Global Telecoms Business was interviewing Kuruöz at Mobile World Congress the company was running the old systems and the new merged system in parallel. “We have completed the project and we are doing the quality verification at the moment. To provide a superior customer experience we believe that giving real-time charging to our postpaid customers is critical — for them to get real-time notification of when their packages expire.” 
Other features that the system will provide will reduce the incident of bill shock when Turkcell’s customers are roaming, he adds. “If you don’t have real-time charging it is impossible to do this.” 

This is all becoming more and more important as the number of devices proliferates, he adds. 
“We all have phones and tablets and dongles, and it’s critical to share your package and keep control on spending,” he says. Turkcell is working with Ericsson on the charging solution, using its internal technology division. 

The parallel running is scheduled to run a few more months before Kuruöz is happy that it is operating satisfactorily and is confident enough in the system. “We are planning to cut over in the third quarter,” he says. “This will be a big transformation. ”It’s a challenge, he admitted at MWC. “We’ve been doing the parallel running for about a month.” So far there have been few problems, but the company has to migrate “more than 3,000” service options from the old systems to the new one. “We are having to re-test all scenarios.” The parallel running will highlight inconsistencies and there will, no doubt, have to be a few fixes to the software. “We are working hard. ”It’s a first, says Kuruöz. “Ericsson doesn’t have any such previous example” of a combined real-time charging system for prepaid and postpaid customers. “We are the first.” However, Turkcell has already started using some of the functions that the new system provides — such as notifications to customers. 
Integrated CRM 
It’s not the only advanced software development going on in Turkcell, adds Kuruöz. The team is also working on an advanced customer relationship management system to integrate fixed and mobile services. “We are trying to build a solution to integrate mobile and fixed customers, from lead generation to order fulfilment.” It’s already being tested by using Turkcell’s own staff. “We are creating mobility for our teams in the field,” says Kuruöz. “We are giving tablets to our sales executives and to our corporate sales team. This is a good example of how to use mobile technology.” Having completed this first step, “we are getting feedback from the field”, says Kuruöz. This is an internal project, he adds, using Turkcell Technology’s 750 engineers, developing OSS/BSS solutions as well as services and products. But Turkcell does sell its technology to other operators, he adds — naming Zain and TeliaSonera as customers for some of its products. 

For more information please see the original article by Alan Burkitt-Gray dated 18 March 2013

Have you read this article and now need more information about our services then please click or contact the author

Consulting Smart Ltd provide specialist consultancy on the design and deployment of smart card and NFC technologies. For more information on how we can help your organisation realise the full benefits please see or email us at

Friday, 16 July 2010

Is Nice the Smartest City in the World? - Part Two

This is the concluding part of our research into the innovative Near Field Communications programme implemented in the French city of Nice. To read the first part published 6th July 2010 please click here


Technically this is not part of the Cityzi scheme but it is possible for a CAP member to use the same NFC enabled mobile phone for both schemes.
In the very first trial of NFC technology in air travel anywhere in the world, frequent flyers with Air France using the Nice-Paris Orly domestic route and Members of Nice Airport's passenger programme Club Airport Premier (CAP) took part in a pilot to validate the use the technology for paperless ticket and boarding pass.
The “Pass and Fly” pilot, as it was known, provided more accurate and faster MI whilst improving and speeding up the customer experience. It also required less manual effort and thus has the potential to deliver savings and efficiency gains for the airline and the airport operator.
This innovative pilot project that began in April 2009 and concluded in October 2009, is a collaboration between Nice Côte d'Azur Airport and Air France, who have partnered with IER, the supplier of the NFC enabled sticker for a similar pilot by Air New Zealand, and Amadeus. Both Nice Côte d'Azur Airport and Air France have since adopted the technology and offer it as a core service.
IER built NFC kiosks readers are integrated with the airport's infrastructure and interfaced with Air France's passenger management system.
Amadeus supply the software for the mobile phones, departure control system and airport readers, which captures and displays information relevant to the customers progress through the departure process.
Air France have issued Nokia 6212 handsets to some CAP members and NFC stickers to others. The stickers provide a non NFC mobile phone with NFC capability and thus allow the customer to join the programme and enjoy the benefits of the new service.
Once registered for the service, CAP members with their “Pass and Fly” enabled mobile phone check in through either the internet, mobile phone, self-service channel at the airport. Once checked in the customer swipes their NFC enabled mobile phone across a reader to download the electronic IATA compatible boarding pass.
Then the customer is fast tracked through security checks control by waving the mobile phone across the NFC reader which links to the Airlines passenger information and displays the boarding pass to the security staff without the need for the customer to display their mobile phone screen.. In fact the mobile phone does not even need to be switched on. The same process is followed for boarding where a voucher is printed with seat details.
As an additional functionality the CAP members also accrue loyalty points via the use of the NFC mobile phone during this process which the Airline is using to incentivise customers to drive take-up.
If the Airline operated a “free sea\ting” policy or equipped the cabin crew with powered hand held readers, this would result in a completely paperless journey.
Feedback from customers has been very positive with the key benefits being speed of transit through the airport, easy to use, convenient not to have to handle paper, and elimination of delays due to lost / misplaced tickets / boarding cards.
For the Airline, they have more satisfied customers, and reduce costs. Whilst the airport can keep queues to a minimum which also reduces security and health and safety risks. .
Compared the mobile boarding pass solution that uses 2-D barcodes as used in New Zealand and elsewhere, NFC is more efficient in terms of speed of transaction and as the phone does not require power it less prone to errors and delays. However, in this deployment, it does not provide a completely paperless process yet.
Smart Muse, Access to Information
The Smart Muse proof of concept project provides a number of NFC enabled services to patrons of the museum the best example is in the Centre Pompidou, an art museum in Paris, and “Walking Tours” of the Old City of Nice. However Nice have already made it clear that they fully intend to rollout the solution to their own museums as soon as they have positive feedback from their own project along with that from the one at the Centre Pompidou.
Visitors to the museum are provided, free of charge, with an NFC Wave-Me™- enabled handset using software from Inside Contactless, which is hosted by ConnecThings, a who specialise in the provision of contextualized location and time based content management systems (CMS),
The handset, supplied by Sagem, is then used to gain access to information about a particular exhibit simply by holding it close to an NFC tag in a poster or label situated adjacent to the exhibit itself. The smart tag has a Unique Identifier (UID) this is read by the handset and then communicated to the CMS over a wireless connection. The information about that exhibit is then sent back to visitor via the handset’s screen in a language of their choice.
The Hand set is a two way communication device and so can also be used to send visitor feedback to the Curators and museum manager about a exhibits or the visitors general experience.
To get benefit beyond the actual visit to the museum the visitor can register interest in a particular artist or exhibit and receive further information, videos etc via e-mail or even their Facebook page.
The scheme at the Centre Pompidou has received c450€ funding from France's Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment which equates to around 30 percent of the total development and deployment cost of more than 1.5M€. The remainder will be funded by the consortium partners who are essentially donating their expertise, software and hardware. It is not clear if the implementation in Nice will receive similar funding.
Cultural Events – Information Dissemination
Local residents and visitors to the Old City of Nice are able to obtain information about local events, cultural and activities by presenting their NFC enabled mobile phone to the Cityzi branded signposts with NFC chips. The vast majority of these signposts are part of the walking tour scheme and so this is an effective use of existing infrastructure.
As part of the payment application a number of retailers including Carrefour, E.Leclerc Intermarché, and several town-center merchants have signed up for the scheme to accept payment by NFC device
Jewelry retailer Cléor are piloting an innovative inventory tracking window, using RFID. Each item has an RFID tag and there are proximity readers on the window access area, when an item passes through this area it is added or removed from the store’s inventory as appropriate. This speeds up stock management and can also trigger the ordering of new stock. By logging the date and time an item is added or removed from the window display it is also seen as a deterrent to staff theft.
There are also other applications being planned like the Real time inventory management, display, anti theft system, location, and customer loyalty for textile and clothing shops, and the RFID logistic chains for meat to allow real time traceability, already being used across Europe by the larger supermarkets.
The Nice Future Campus project allows c300 students at the Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis campus to use NFC-enabled phones for a variety of services both on and off campus.
This is a fairly comprehensive scheme with a budget of c2M€ involving 7 key supplier partners delivering several applications including payment, transport, access control, student life (ticketing) and targeted promotional offers
Over a 2 year period the scheme has introduced 3 different Mobile handsets and 4 NFC stickers to enable non NFC mobile phones 3 NFC devices
Employee ID & Access
Businesses in Nice are able to use the infrastructure that the City is putting in place, and such application way is for staff ID and access. The Gemalto provided MoBEMo contactless badge allows employees to use their own NFC enabled phone for Access Control and to make cafeteria payments. Cassis International is developing a system allowing NFC phone holders to access tickets and coupons via a Web-based server.
Home Help Time & attendance & Payment
This is a mobile home-help payment system which replaces paper cheques., RFID tags in name badges communicate with the mobile devices to log in hours and claim payments
The Nice scheme has been described as the "dress rehearsal" for
a nationwide NFC rollout in 2011.

Have you read this article and now need more information on smartcard, mobile or NFC technologies? If so click or contact the author
Consulting Smart Ltd provide specialist consultancy on the design and deployment of smart card and NFC technologies. For more information on how we can help your organisation realise the full benefits please email us

Thursday, 15 July 2010

12 More NFC / RFID Projects Announced for France

As a follow up to my blog post "Is Nice the Smartest City in the World" of 6th July 2010, I can confirm that we have been made aware of an announcement by Christian Estrosi, the French Minister for Industry and the Mayor of Nice, details of a further twelve NFC and RFID projects. Estrosi also confirmed combined funding of €4.5 million from the French government for the new projects..

The successful projects include applications in the trade, tourism, health and homecare services, sustainable development and consumer services. They include:

· M_Stadium. France Telecom plans to develop a range of NFC services for stadium events including paperless tickets, accreditation and interactive labels scattered in and around the stadiums.

· NFC-TTH. SNCF Proximités plans to develop a range of services transport and tourism for handicapped travellers using NFC, RFID and geolocation services.

· Onco-Trace. Creative Eurecom aims to use RFID and NFC technology to improve the way in which patients receiving chemotherapy treatments are monitored, both in hospitals and in the home.

· Self Scan Mobile. Keyneosoft is to develop a service to enable self scan retail checkouts to be replaced with NFC mobile phones, including integrating the service with mobile shopping lists, couponing and payments functions.

· Shop'N'more. Laser Loyalty is to develop an NFC-based multi-brand loyalty and promotions system.

· Alice. Mindscape has received funding to develop a B2B2C service platform using the Nabaztag RFID rabbit.

· Autopartage. A car sharing application proposed by Continental Automotive aims to increase the use of car sharing services using NFC technology.

· Barfid. Systerel plans to use RFID technology to develop a new type of level crossing barrier that will provide a higher level of safety for uses of rail crossings.

· Confiance. Extelia is to develop a trusted third party platform designed specifically to meet the needs of the service sector, making it easier to handle the service billing process.

Our eternal thanks go to Sarah Clarke of for her original post

Consulting Smart Ltd provide specialist consultancy on the design and deployment of smart card and NFC technologies. For more information on how we can help your organisation realise the full benefits please see or email us at

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Contactless payments – just hype or the real deal

By Steve Beecroft

Regulars to this blog, our clients and my peers within the payments industry will know only too well how positive I am towards contactless technology. Having designed and implemented several contactless schemes including NFC I consider myself an advocate of this now fully emerged, technology.

However, like any professional I always look to deliver the the most appropriate guidance to our clients and sometimes that means recommending clients do not to adopt a particular technology. This is something we did through our sporting venues division 'Smart Stadia Ltd, when a football club from West Yorkshire asked for assistance in defining the best next steps in their modernisation project.

Do we regret doing this ...... NO, it was what the client needed but not necessarily what they wanted to hear but is was absolutely the right thing for them. That was back in March this year and I have since had a call from the clubs Chief Executive thanking me for our ethical approach and inviting Smart Stadia Ltd to lead the next phase of their modernisation project for multi-application season ticket. Even if we had not had that call we would still be very happy that we had given appropriate advice that was in the best interests of the client.

It is our unshakable belief that we all need a balanced view, with this in mind I attach below an article on

Research from Datamonitor, a market analyst firm, suggests that the much hyped contactless payment market may be a long way off from becoming the norm in the UK despite trials by various retailers.

The research* from the independent market analyst has revealed that despite the huge potential market open to contactless payments the economic downturn has delayed issuers other than Barclaycard from investing in the technology as they just haven’t been able to spend money on it. Meanwhile many retailers are not sure yet if contactless is worth the investment.

Gilles Ubaghs, financial analyst at Datamonitor said: “Retailers could likely find the cash if they were convinced it was worthwhile, but many don’t seem sure there is any real point. Essentially it is a catch 22 as many consumers aren’t interested in having a contactless payment card when there are still so few places to use it and retailers don’t want to install the technology as so few people have a card.”

However, Datamonitor does believe that there are promising long term signs that the technology could take off but it won’t be as soon as many analysts predict.

Mr Ubaghs continued “Although contactless payments have been around for nearly 10 years, Barclaycard and London’s Oyster travel card remain the only two high profile companies to offer contactless cards. Investment by other issuers is needed, not only in the technology itself but in educating consumers as well. Consumers will need to be convinced that it is worth their while to use the new technology”

“Importantly, for consumers to be sold on using contactless payments retailers and issuers will need to work together and as this is yet to happen on a large scale. It will be a good deal of time before we’re able to walk into any shop and buy a chocolate bar in the same way as London commuters tap their Oyster cards.”

For the original article click here

Consulting Smart Ltd provide specialist consultancy on the design and deployment of smart card and NFC technologies. For more information on how we can help your organisation realise the full benefits please see or email us at

French Minister of Industry Confirms Support for NFC Cities

Christian Estrosi, France’s minister of industry, has confirmed government support for three to five more cities to launch NFC services in France next year, following the precommercial NFC launch in Nice this spring.

Estrosi, who spoke at a conference Tuesday in Paris, has called on interested city officials and transit authorities in France to declare their intent to become one of the next tier of cities to host contactless-mobile services.

The additional cities would launch NFC sometime in 2011. Estrosi, who is also mayor of Nice, sees the additional cities as the second phase of what he hopes will be a broad deployment of NFC in France. He believes government help for up to five more cities to launch NFC will encourage other French cities to follow. That could lead to national rollouts in 2012, according to the vision.

The three to five cities are to be announced in December. Frontrunners are the cities of Caen and Strasbourg. Both have played host to multiple NFC trials in the past and city officials in both places have expressed strong interest in the technology. Officials in Bordeaux are also keen for the technology, said observers, and the city is also a favorite. Other cities mentioned are Rennes in Brittany, Marseille, Lyon and Grenoble.

Paris is also in the running, but it seems unlikely NFC will launch in the capital until 2012, although observers do expect some smaller projects in Paris next year. Key will be when STIF, the giant transit authority serving Paris and the surrounding region, acts on its plans to put its Navigo contactless ticketing application on NFC phones. A STIF representative did not attend the conference, which was co-organized by the government-funded NFC coordinating organization, Forum des Services Mobile sans Contact.

Like Nice, the three to five cities are expected to host such NFC services as contactless-mobile ticketing and related service discovery, mobile payment, and applications involving mobile tourism and health care. These services would be delivered by transit operators, banks and other service providers.

It remains to be seen how large the projects will become. In Nice, the country’s three major mobile operators, France Telecom-Orange, SFR and Bouygues, plus a mobile virtual network operator NRJ Mobile, have reportedly put only a little more than 3,000 NFC phones on sale.

That number could grow based on demand. And a representative of Orange, speaking at the conference Tuesday, confirmed the telco’s plans to sell 500,000 NFC phones in France by the end of 2011.

It’s unclear exactly what type of support the government will offer to the additional cities it selects to host the NFC services. Some funding is likely, along with indirect support.

The French government is also offering grants to some private companies for development work on NFC. Overall, the government, along with French telcos and some service providers have cast France as a leader in NFC technology. The French government also sees NFC as a promising industry for French vendors.

Thanks to NFC Times

Consulting Smart Ltd provide specialist consultancy on the design and deployment of smart card and NFC technologies. For more information on how we can help your organisation realise the full benefits please email us

Dutch Banks and Telcos to Move Forward on M-Payment Project

Three major Dutch banks and three mobile operators have decided to move forward with planning for an NFC mobile-payment launch in the Netherlands, NFC Times has learned.

The three Dutch banks, Rabobank, ING and ABN Amro; and three telcos, KPN, Vodafone Netherlands and Rabo Mobiel; gave the project the green light at a meeting June 28, following months of discussions, NFC Times has learned. The approval clears a major hurdle for the initiative and means the parties intend to move forward to lay the groundwork for a likely launch sometime in 2011–probably in the latter half of the year, sources told NFC Times.

But the parties are not releasing any details until they announce their plans, expected in a month or two. Representatives from KPN, Rabobank and ING, believed to be the most active members of the group, all issued nearly identical statements to requests for comment from NFC Times about the mobile-payment project.

“We are currently looking into read the full article click here

Consulting Smart Ltd provide specialist consultancy on the design and deployment of smart card and NFC technologies. For more information on how we can help your organisation realise the full benefits please see email us at