Taiwan: Bank Tries Out MicroSDs in Full NFC Phones
Cathay United customers are able to tap their phones to make contactless payments at local stores and to pay fares on subway trains and buses in the capital city, Taipei. Cathay United issues the PayPass application, which is accepted at about 25,000 point-of-sale terminals in Taiwan and more than 300,000 elsewhere worldwide. The separate Mifare-based EasyCard application, is accepted at about 30,000 POS terminals in 12,000 retail outlets on the island, including major convenience stores. That’s in addition to EasyCard readers at subway gates and onboard buses.
The project is the first of its kind outside of China, where China UnionPay and at least two banks, including China Construction Bank, have launched NFC mobile payment on microSDs in what in China is called the HTC Stunning. UnionPay is also using other handsets supporting so-called “SWP-SD” technology. In the NFC-enabled HTC phone mdel in China and Taiwan, the SWP connection between the NFC chip and microSD card slot is not standard, as it is between the SIM card and NFC chip in SWP-enabled NFC phones. But international standards organizations are drafting specifications to standardize a SWP link for microSDs. By using microSDs as a secure element, banks can generally bypass mobile operators to introduce NFC mobile payment on their own. But in countries where telcos control the distribution channels, the operators could refuse to sell the phones or disable the NFC interface in them.
* Trusted Service Manager: Defined loosely to include companies or other organizations securely distributing, provisioning and managing applications, generally over the air, on secure elements in NFC mobile phones; or licensing their platforms for this purpose.
N/A: Not available or not applicable.
Last update: July 2012