Moving NFC forward with MasterCard certification

Last updated: 20 March 2014

Mastercard m-paymentRecently, I talked about some of the work we are doing with NFC-based mobile payments, and gave some background on the secure element needed to make these payments.  Well, in the meantime we announced another piece of the puzzle for making NFC implementations easier for mobile operators and banks. In brief,  Gemalto’s UICC-embedded (SIM) software application is compliant with MasterCard’s mobile PayPass M/Chip 4, the new payment specification designed for mobile NFC.  MasterCard PayPass is the technology in place today that lets consumers pay for goods and services simply by holding their card close to a payment reader.  It’s convenient, fast and efficient and already in use in many stores such as Subway, McDonalds, movie theaters, transport tickets and more around the world. Contactless news recently reported how all MasterCard payment cards in New Zealand will be PayPass enabled in 5 years time.


NFC in subway

Now, we have extended the payment ability to the mobile phone.  By using the MasterCard-certified UICC in an NFC-compliant mobile handset, consumers can make payments through at terminals that accept MasterCard PayPass.  So, what does it mean for mobile operators and banks?
It makes NFC rollouts easier because there is already solid infrastructure in place for accepting MasterCard PayPass payments.  In fact, the Smart Card Alliance estimates that there are half a million contactless terminals in the United States alone, in 150,000 to 200,000 locations.  These locations are all set to accept mobile payments from consumers that have Gemalto’s UICC in their phone. Here is what James Anderson, vice president of mobile at MasterCard Worldwide had to say about the certification:

“We are pleased to collaborate with Gemalto to broadly expand the use of mobile payment services.  Leveraging the interoperability of MasterCard PayPass, Gemalto’s effort will enable cross-border mobile NFC payment, adding ease to the fast-paced lifestyles of more and more consumers across the world.”

We’re already getting this solution off the ground.  In the UK, Gemalto is partnering with a global first-tier financial institution and a leading mobile operator to carry out the first mass commercial roll out.  And from there, we hope to stimulate mass commercial roll outs of NFC payment across the world. Sarah Yin, of PC Magazine noted that leading manufacturers like Samsung, Research in Motion, Nokia, Google have all said in recent months that they are launching NFC-enabled phones this year – which only further establish the growth of NFC.  For the full story from Sara Yin, click here.

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