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Tyfone/First Data

with one comment

27 March 2010

When I evaluate companies, I look at the team first, business focus second and technology/platform third. Tyfone has one of the best technical teams in the NFC business led by Siva Narendra. Their product IP is just tremendous, resulting in a hardware platform that is in production and ready for market (a 5 year effort).

Tyfone’s micro-SD card is both NFC and MiFare (ISO 14443) compliant, meaning that in one device I “could” pay at every NFC POS reader AND go through every public transit (Oyster, Octopus, …) system. In other words, I buy this Micro-SD card, put it in my blackberry’s slot and now can wave my blackberry across POS terminals to pay a merchant and wave my blackberry on the UK Tube turnstile. “Could” is the operable word here as each payment network (including “closed loop” transit networks) holds the key to certification (and acceptance).

Tyfone’s partnership with First Data is key to addressing both Visa certification AND the 6 party fur ball which surrounds NFC. Why do I love these guys?

  • Team
  • IP
  • Hardware
  • Partnership
  • Flexible business model

Their competitors are: QCOM, handset manufacturers, bladox, …etc and perhaps (at the low end) NFC “sticker” providers like INSIDE. The “battle” in NFC is very complex as it extends into authentication, provisioning, device silicon, standards, certification, IP, POS … etc.  Obviously much heavy lifting remains to be done here, but my prediction is that the winner will be driven by a stellar team that is able to form the right alliances, with enough capital to ride through the storm. Their top challenge will be to stay focused on revenue generating opportunities and ignore (politely) the 100s of banks and transit teams looking to test their hardware.

The VISA/ATT NFC effort should kick start First Data in their role as Trusted Service Manager. I hope that my ATT store will be selling the Tyfone cards soon.. because I will certainly buy one.

Written by tomnoyes

March 26, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Posted in mobile payment

Tagged with , , ,