The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by convenience, technology, and security, and the growing importance of technologies such as QR codes, RFID technology, and cashierless stores. In the last three years alone, there have been over 133,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Online Payments: Contactless payments.  

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 128,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the retail industry, there are 70+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Contactless payments is a key innovation area in online payments 

Contactless payment systems allow customers to make secure payments through cards (credit, debit and smart cards), key fobs, or other devices, including smartphones, using radio-frequency identification (RFID) or near-field communication (NFC) technology.  

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of contactless payments. 

Key players in contactless payments – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry  

  

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to contactless payments

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Capital One Financial 164 Unlock company profile
Dynamics 112 Unlock company profile
DeviceFidelity 106 Unlock company profile
Digimarc 73 Unlock company profile
Angel Playing Cards 62 Unlock company profile
Tyfone 61 Unlock company profile
Jj Mackay Canada 36 Unlock company profile
West View Research 32 Unlock company profile
Toshiba 25 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 25 Unlock company profile
Thales 22 Unlock company profile
Visa 21 Unlock company profile
STMicroelectronics 16 Unlock company profile
MC Familiengesellschaft mbH 16 Unlock company profile
BrilliantTS 15 Unlock company profile
NXP Semiconductors 14 Unlock company profile
Dominion Harbor Enterprises 14 Unlock company profile
Kona I 13 Unlock company profile
Bundesdruckerei 12 Unlock company profile
Block 10 Unlock company profile
Fidelity National Information Services 10 Unlock company profile
CompoSecure 10 Unlock company profile
Dashpass 9 Unlock company profile
Swatch Group 9 Unlock company profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 9 Unlock company profile
Infineon Technologies 8 Unlock company profile
Zwipe 8 Unlock company profile
Rambus 8 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 8 Unlock company profile
Elan Microelectronics 7 Unlock company profile
SoftBank Group 7 Unlock company profile
Huizhou TCL Mobile Communication 7 Unlock company profile
Tactilis 7 Unlock company profile
Tactilis 7 Unlock company profile
IDEMIA France 6 Unlock company profile
Feitian Technologies 6 Unlock company profile
LG 6 Unlock company profile
Deutsche Telekom 6 Unlock company profile
Nokia 6 Unlock company profile
Stryker 5 Unlock company profile
Xiaomi 5 Unlock company profile
Morgan Stanley 5 Unlock company profile
Diebold Nixdorf 5 Unlock company profile
Digital Life Technologies 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Capital One Financial is one of the leading patent filers in contactless payment systems. Some other key patent filers in the space include Dynamics, DeviceFidelity, Digimarc, Angel Playing Cards, and Tyfone. Eltropy, a leading platform for digital communications for community financial institutions (CFIs), announced a partnership with Tyfone allowing their mutual credit union and community bank clients to communicate with members more effectively. This will provide an enhanced accountholder experience within the Tyfone nFinia™ digital banking platform for browsers, mobile devices, wearables, and voice assistants. 

In terms of application diversity, Digimarc leads the pack. Angel Playing Cards and CompoSecure stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone held the top position, followed by Zwipe and CompoSecure

Contactless payment systems will increasingly gain popularity in the retail sector due to the convenience offered. Also, factors such as security and safety will play important roles in the technology’s quick adoption.  

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Online Payments in Retail

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.