Visa to enable secure, cloud-based mobile payments

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Visa is offering clients new options to securely deploy mobile payment programs. This includes an option to host Visa payWave-enabled accounts in a secure virtual cloud. The move expands Visa’s support for mobile payments globally and will give financial institutions greater choice in offering consumers secure ways to pay with smartphones.

Visa’s support for cloud-based payments follows the introduction of a new feature in the Android mobile operating system called Host Card Emulation (HCE); HCE allows any NFC application on an Android device to emulate a smart card, letting users wave-to-pay with their smartphones, while permitting financial institutions to host payment accounts in a secure, virtual cloud.

“Our clients and partners around the globe are continuously looking for flexible, cost efficient and secure ways to enable mobile payments,” said Elizabeth Buse, Executive Vice President, Global Solutions, Visa Inc. “The Android HCE feature provides us with a platform to evolve the Visa payWave standard, support the development of secure, cloud-based mobile applications, while at the same time offer greater choice to our clients.”

Benjamin Poiesz, Google Android Product Manager said: “Visa’s move to enable NFC payments with Android devices is welcome news and will guide the way for the payments industry.”

Visa is also extending the Visa Ready Program to also support financial institutions and partners who wish to securely deploy Visa accounts in the cloud. The program provides new standards, tools, services and implementation guidelines, and ensures that cloud-based applications with Visa payment functionality are compatible with Visa’s requirements and payment industry security standards.

Ensuring payment security is one of Visa’s highest priorities and security in cloud-based payments is no exception. Visa will deploy one-time use data, real-time transaction analysis, payment tokens and device fingerprinting technology make up a multi-layered defense against unauthorized account access.

Dominic Venturo, Chief Innovation Officer, U.S. Bank Payment Services said: “This new development, combined with the security benefits of tokenization, is an important step for the industry because it enables an open, scalable approach for issuers like U.S. Bank to provide customers with a secure way to make contactless payment using their Android-based phones.”

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