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Mar 31, 2015

Winning the Battle for Secure Mobile Payments in the Fastly Emerging HCE Ecosystem

Until recently, the Near Field Communications (NFC) industry has been relatively stagnant due to interoperability challenges, high upfront capital costs and a complex partner relationship. What has changed and what experts believe will give fresh momentum to the NFC industry is the tremendous interest currently gathering around Host Card Emulation (HCE), especially since Google’s release of HCE capabilities in its Android (4.4) KitKat platform.

Additionally, at a recent development conference, Google has revealed that its own wallet will support the HCE platform. This intention to integrate HCE in its mobile payments/wallet strategy via the Android Pay API will provide support to phones and other smart devices which do not have hardware secure element built in into the device. This developer-friendly strategy to provide the storing of payment encryption keys via a software-based secure element approach provides mobile payment application developers with a rapid go-to-market capability.

As such, HCE is being seen as an excellent, low-cost and easy-to-install alternative to the standard secure element approach, which typically requires specific versions of devices to work. There are various benefits attached to HCE, which many experts consider as a real game changer that will drive more NFC adoption in the near future. Earlier, even though there was enormous interest within the telecom and banking sector to launch NFC mobile applications, the key challenges were the lack of sufficient infrastructure and high costs attached to storing the user data securely inside the mobile devices. HCE is the solution that can solve these problems as it can end the dependency on the TSM (Trusted Service Managers) and high costs of replacing NFC SIMs and installing expensive, proprietary POS (Point of Sales) terminals.

The value from adopting this open HCE approach without any hardware update requirements enables payment providers and ecosystem stakeholders to quickly scale and fully leverage the mobile computing platform to offer more secure payment options. The combination of contactless payment from Google plus mobile application protection yields a revolutionary solution for financial institutions and businesses to provide a secure mobile payment that can finally be embraced for mass adoption with confidence.

To learn more about how to associate your brand with this fastly emerging HCE ecosystem and to gain the first mover’s advantage, come see our VP of Product Management, Vince Arneja, speak at the HCE Summit on April 15 in New York, or view our archived webinar, Revolutionary Security for HCE Mobile Payments.


Arxan Author

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