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TazTag announces joint development of new NFC payment functionality

TazCard is a credit-card-sized handheld device that supports a variety of NFC applications such as contactless payments. This device will enable card issuers to provide customers with a viable NFC bridge.

“Our strategy is to propose a highly secure NFC Zigbee device, a developer community and products for infrastructure,” said Eric Fouchard, founder/CEO of TazTag, Brittany, France. “The device must offer the common application for everyone: payment, transportation, access control and home-automation control.

“Whatever the device is, the value comes from applications and as the market is not mature, we must develop vertical applications and prepare NFC and Zigbee deployment,” he said.

Inside Contactless delivers more than 350 million contactless platforms worldwide and its contactless payment and NFC services provide payment, transit, identity and access-control applications.

TazTag provides secured contactless services based on NFC and Zigbee to create new, secure, multi-application contactless products such as the TazCard, TazBox and TazKiosk.

Sagem Orga is a smart card business that offers hardware, software, consulting and services for all smart cards for the telecommunications, health, identification and banking sectors.

Instant payment
Inside’s Java-based test payment application has been installed on a Single Wire Protocol (SWP) enabled SIM card developed by Sagem Orga, which is connected to the Inside MicroRead NFC controller built into the TazCard.

“The NFC market is growing every day worldwide, but NFC-enabled phones are late, and the market requires a device and a ready infrastructure to take off,” Mr. Fouchard said. “That’s our target.”

The TazCard also uses Inside’s open NFC protocol stack.

“We have a lot of projects worldwide and this year is pilots-year for validation, next year will be the real deployment for vertical applications, next the mass market with the coming of the NFC-enabled phone.” Mr. Fouchard said.

The SIM-based, SWP-compliant service can be used for payment, identification, ticketing and loyalty.

“The TazCard is a part of a complete ecosystem based on NFC/Zigbee,” Mr. Fouchard said. “The first product was the 46-inch digital signage developed in collaboration with Hyundai IT.”

Through an accessory, the TazCard can be connected to wireless networks.

“As we are a startup company, we need to interact with majors on each market, to give credibility to our product line,” Mr. Fouchard said. “Therefore we will not develop by ourselves java card applications for example, which require high level and long validation process.

“We provide a support and each partner will develop or port existing applications,” he said. “It’s easier for all to re-use existing and validated applications.”

Mr. Fouchard said that as TazTag’s business model is B2B to create a developer community, the company provides a Java-based development kit to let all of its clients develop applications on ready-to-go infrastructure.

“Imagine a shop assistant can use the TazCard to read NFC tags on products, and then check availability from stock or a warehouse thanks to Zigbee communication without leaving his customer,” Mr. Fouchard said. “Then he can book himself the product for his customer reading the NFC loyalty card.

“No more need to wait for a computer shared with other agents,” he said. “More time for his customer, better service, more efficient, and more revenue for the store.”