The NFC Forum's third annual NFC Innovation Awards took place entirely online. The 2020 Online Innovation Awards ceremony, held Sept. 30, recognized innovative Near Field Communication (NFC) use cases in blockchain, IoT and mobile sectors. This year's award winners demonstrated exemplary development and deployment of NFC products, services and applications, stated Koichi Tagawa, NFC Forum chair.
"This year's NFC Innovation Award winners demonstrate the transformative power of NFC technology in society. NFC is a standard feature on most smartphones and is involved in the daily lives of billions of people," Tagawa said. "I'd like to thank our sponsors NXP Semiconductors and Identity, the judges and everyone who submitted an award entry."
Capgemini's World Payments Report 2020 and Verizon's 2020 Payment Security Report, both released in October 2020, link mobile, digital and virtual payments adoption to a range of emerging security threats. Anirban Bose, CEO of Capgemini's Financial Services and member of the company's group executive board, pointed out that global usage of digital and mobile payments had been steadily increasing and driving payments industry competition before the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Bose attributed rising transaction levels to increased smartphone, ecommerce, digital wallet and QR code payments usage; the highest recorded volumes were found in Asia-Pacific which reached 243.6 billion in 2019.
Consumer payment preferences have shifted and spending has picked up in recent months, following dramatic declines brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, potential bumps ahead could dampen consumers' ability to spend. "The recession appears to be behind us and the re-opening of the economy over the past several months has created momentum that should carry us through the fourth quarter," said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist at the National Retail Federation. "The test is whether consumer spending will be sustained amid wildcard puzzle pieces including policy surprises, the election and a resurgent virus."
Kleinhenz's remarks were included in the October issue of the NRF's Monthly Economic Review. The review portrays a "V-shaped recovery" due in part to $1,200 stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment benefits authorized under the CARES Act, a $2 trillion bipartisan economic relief package passed into law in March 2020. Those benefits expired, however, and negotiations over another round of stimulus spending appear to be at an impasse.
Jerry Skillett, executive chairman of SPACES USA, launched the SPACES USA mobile app, which is designed to create a frictionless parking experience. Users can access the app on iOS and Android devices by calling a posted number at a parking facility.
"When you pull up to a gate in your parking facility, there's someone behind you and someone behind them," Skillett said. "Everyone is engaged in an active transportation pattern and has to react quickly." He noted that earlier iterations of his app, which featured a Bluetooth peripheral device, were problematic because of the time it takes to download or look for an app; he reduced access time by making the app accessible with a phone call.
Burbank, Calif.-based ISO Signature Payments disclosed Oct. 13, 2020, that it has appointed payments industry veteran Jeff Fortney as vice president of partner relations. Fortney, a respected payments professional, will lead ISO and agent recruitment efforts while growing and supporting the company's expanding ISO and agent partner network, according to Charles Hogan, president at Signature Payments. "Jeff is a seasoned payment professional with a proven track record of building partnerships and driving impressive growth," Hogan said. "We are confident his presence will further strengthen our position as an industry leader."
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