Archive for the ‘Contactless payments’ Category

Time for librarians to check out?

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Could NFC technology make the role of librarian obsolete? A new NFC-based solution demonstrated at the 100th German Librarian Day in Berlin certainly suggests so.

The prototype of the first-ever mobile SelfCheck features an NFC capable smart phone that makes it possible to borrow straight from the library shelf. Users can check out, extend the lending period and manage their media with their mobile device. Bibliotheca RFID Library Systems, which is partnering with NXP on the solution, has applied for patent protection for the system.

A specially developed application for NFC-capable mobile devices enables users to check out media from any location within the library as soon as it is taken from the shelf, entirely eliminating check out lines and enhancing user privacy.

Library goers simply point their cell phone at the book, press “borrow” in the appropriate menu, and the book is checked out. Reconciliation with the library system occurs simultaneously.

NFC is a transfer standard for contactless data exchange over short distances. The use of the technology is expected to explode when it comes to cashless payment, paperless ticketing, online downloads and access control. Industry analysts predict that 100 million or more NFC-enabled devices could be in use by the end of this year, with that number approaching 500 million by 2015.

Of course, librarians will still be needed for users who don’t know how to use a card or computer system to locate books, to offer general reference guidance, and to hush hush those noisy kids in the reading area!


Is cash still king?

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Is this the beginning of the end for cash? Maybe so. In an indication that contactless payment continues to gain acceptance in North America, U.S. Bank, a division of U.S. Bancorp, introduced its VITAband payment system this week, a wristband that combines contactless payment technology with emergency contact and medical information.

The RFID-enabled wristband allows tap and go payments while also holding key medical information.

The VITAband allows customers to simply “Tap & Go” when making purchases at merchant locations that accept contactless payments. It also links to a customizable Emergency Response Profile (ERP) that provides medical professionals with fast access to critical medical information in the event of an emergency.

U.S. Bank employees began testing the VITAband in multiple states in the second quarter of 2011, making U.S. Bank one of the first major card issuers in the U.S. to pilot this new technology.

U.S. Bank is partnering with MasterCard Worldwide, Vita Products, Inc., Oberthur Technologies and FIS to provide the wristband that combines advanced financial management and universal health record technology.

“U.S. Bank MasterCard PayPass VITAband is great for sports enthusiasts or people who are on-the-go and don’t want the hassle of carrying cash and identification. It provides contactless payment functionality, along with access to emergency contact and medical information, all in one convenient wristband,” said Beth Blaisdell, senior vice president for U.S. Bank Payment Services