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2010 the key year for NFC mobile payments: Inside Contactless

October 21, 2009

100708_sticker3Inside Contactless is launching a contactless mobile payments platform for banks, brands and transit services in 2010.

The new offerings are set to leverage Inside’s MicroPass platform and allow existing mobile devices to support contactless mobile payments, as well as transit, ID and access-control applications. Some of the contactless payment services are expected to reach the market this fall.

“Inside with the MicroPass chip platform has been the dominant solution in current contactless card solutions in North America, with more than 80 percent of all issued contactless bank cards containing MicroPass,” said Charles Walton, executive vice president of Inside Contactless, Aix-en-Provence, France. “So, we have the experience, the quality, the ability to deliver to major financial institutions and the payment applications necessary.

“We see that contactless payments will rapidly extend into mobile devices,” he said. “This will happen through the integration of chip technology into mobile devices.” 

Inside Contactless is a worldwide provider of open-standard contactless payments and Near Field Communication (NFC) semiconductors and software.

The company’s first launch of add-on mobile payment services is contactless sticker products based on the MicroPass platform.

Mobile device stickers can turn personal items into a payment device. While these stickers are not electronically connected to the handset, they are able to support debit, prepaid debit and credit card payments.

Mr. Walton said that until more mobile devices with already loaded NFC payment technology are produced, external services such as stickers, phone skins or cases and microSD’s make sense as peripheral service.

“We see a very nice opportunity to enable a community of organizations intent on building such finished peripheral solutions – combining our strengths and experience in contactless payments with the immediate demands coming from the market in 2010,” Mr. Walton said.

Inside Contactless said that several new mobile payment services coming from its partners will enable mobile phones to integrate with a MicroPass based outside the phone element by using microSD cards, BlueTooth channels and data connections. These services will help foster a NFC-like payment system according to Inside Contactless.

The new services have also been designed so consumers can collect and redeem coupons and loyalty points.

Mr. Walton said the company anticipates that mobile payments will be a broad utility, especially for those under 35 years old.

Mr. Walton said that there has been some growth when it came to NFC payments in the United States, citing Home Depot and taxi services as recent adopters.

To further continue a spread through the U.S., Mr. Walton said that 2010 needs to see an adoption of mobile payment services like the kind Inside is providing and clarity of business model amongst wireless carriers and retailers.

“Many of these hurdles are being overcome,” Mr. Walton said. “We anticipate 2010 to be a key year for mobile payment peripheral solutions to be launched and 2011 to be a key year for solutions integrated within phones to first be commercially launched.
“We envision that commerce of the future will be centered around personal devices – the mobile phone, smartphone and other evolving devices,” he said. “With 4 billion phones and growing, mobile devices are central to those in both developed and developing countries.   

“We see these investments to be of long-term importance – with the coming years to be quite significant in the growth of early capability.”

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Chirs Harnick is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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