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Gemalto claims global mobile NFC breakthrough

Ross O. Storey | April 1, 2011
Gemalto Mobile near field communications (NFC) payment application said to be the first in the world to be certified by MasterCard.

SINGAPORE, 1 APRIL 2011 - Digital security specialist Gemalto is claiming a major breakthrough in NFC which it says "paves the way for mass commercial roll-outs of (contact-less) NFC payments across the world".

The announcement, made from the CARTES conference in Hong Kong, unveils what Gemalto says is "the world's first UICC-embedded software application compliant with Mobile MasterCard® PayPass M/Chip 4, the brand new MasterCard payment specification designed for mobile NFC".

The UICC (Universal Integrated Circuit Card) is the smart card used in mobile terminals in GSM and UMTS networks.

"This new certification from MasterCard makes Gemalto the first on the market for this mobile product and will enable banks and wireless operators to offer a secure, innovative and convenient payment means to their entire customer base," said Jean-Claude Deturche, senior vice-president of mobile financial solutions at Gemalto.

Gemalto's software application embeds the Trusted Service Management interface for PayPass.

Easy payment management

The statement said: "This feature enables mobile account issuance and over-the-air management. Its user-friendly handset interface makes mobile NFC payment extremely convenient, for example enabling consumers to easily manage the new payment means and check transaction history.

"It also allows consumers to define their mobile personal identification number (PIN), a code of their choice, through their phone. The mobile PIN is a new cardholder verification method used notably to secure operations such as account top-up from the mobile phone."

Gemalto said the mobile NFC payment application can be configured to cover all card portfolios including debit, credit and prepaid. The software application enables consumers to top-up their prepaid accounts directly from their mobile phone.

"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." said James Anderson, vice president, Mobile, MasterCard Worldwide.

In the UK, Gemalto says it is already partnering with a global, first-tier financial institution and a world leading mobile operator (un-named), to implement the new MasterCard certified mobile payment application and carry out the solution's first mass commercial roll out.


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