Host Card Emulation (HCE) is shaking up the mobile payments industry by empowering mobile wallet providers to access Near Field Communications (NFC) whilst bypassing mobile carriers, says a new report.
Near Field Communications is fast being adopted by a range of mobile payment apps, including Google Wallet. Customers simply tap or wave their phone in front of an NFC- enabled terminal to make a payment. But there’s a catch: mobile payments that use this technology have had to access the “secure element” of the smartphone in order to store and use the payment card data they need to work – and access is controlled by carriers.
HCE, a software-based innovation that allows wallet providers to deal directly with smartphone operators, is causing a stir precisely because it removes this stumbling block for many developers.
250 million HCE-enabled Android devices have already been sold and competitors to Google Wallet are expected to proliferate as this market continues to expand. A number of banks and mobile wallet providers are actively exploring potential in this field.
Meanwhile, whilst Apple’s iPhone does not use NFC at all, the company is thought to be developing its own alternative.
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