Following Samsung, Sony, Other Device Makers Likely to Promote Embedded Secure Element

While Samsung Electronics has made known a major part of its embedded secure-element strategy for its NFC phones–with its work with Visa, MasterCard Worldwide and likely other payment schemes–Samsung isn’t the only device maker planning to enable applications on its NFC phones.

Sony Mobile also has an emerging embedded chip strategy for its Xperia NFC line, NFC Times has learned.

The Android phone maker is believed to be gearing up to offer its embedded chips as early as this fall, sources said. It would likely use embedded chips from either NXP Semiconductors or STMicroelectronics.

Like Samsung, Sony would only promote the chip in markets where mobile operators don't subsidize a high percentage of the smartphones, and Sony might yet back off on its embedded chip strategy or delay it, said a source.

Other device makers are also exploring opportunities to enable payment and other secure applications on their NFC-enabled embedded chips. They could earn fees from service providers for playing host to the applets.

Among original equipment makers that have already participated in a project is HTC, which enabled payment on its embedded chips with China UnionPay and China Merchants Bank in 2012. And like Samsung and probably Sony, the device maker is working in Russia.

Russian trusted service manager i-Free plans to enable a prepaid application from Tinkoff Credit Systems bank. And Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, has told NFC Times it is working with one or more Chinese OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), in addition to Samsung, and other device makers–probably HTC and Sony–to put its payment application on embedded chips. It has also talked to BlackBerry.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry has included an embedded secure element in every one of its NFC-enabled phones, starting in August 2011 with its first NFC phones running in the BlackBerry 7 operating system. The smartphone maker is continuing to include an Infineon-produced embedded chip in its BlackBerry 10 devices, starting with its Z10 and Q10 phones.

BlackBerry, formerly known as Research in Motion, hasn’t yet used the embedded chips for commercial services. It was initially hoping to enable payment applications on the chips, but had been discouraged from that idea by mobile operators, said sources. It might still try to promote payment, in certain markets, where telcos don’t control handset distribution.

BlackBerry has publicly said only that it plans to enable enterprise ID applications, such as corporate badges and perhaps meal vouchers and other benefits.

The smartphone maker has its own trusted service manager, using a Bell ID platform, which it could use to manage the embedded chips for service providers–though it remains to be seen when BlackBerry will go beyond the pilot stage with its embedded applications.

Such other Android phone makers as LG Electronics is believed to have much less interest, at present, in promoting embedded secure elements in its NFC phones. That could always change. And some Chinese Android phone makers are believed to be working with service providers.

For example, Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, has told NFC Times it is working with one or more Chinese OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), in addition to Samsung, and other device makers–probably HTC and Sony–to put its payment application on embedded chips.

That includes work in the lab, at present, with the OEMs, but the bank hopes to launch an NFC payment service from embedded chips in the next year, perhaps as early as the end of 2013; and is in discussions with Visa and Samsung to demonstrate a Visa payWave application for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February. That's according to Mircea Mihaescu, Sberbank’s director of IT strategy and technology innovation and a principal of the bank’s venture capital arm.

The demo phone will likely be Samsung's Galaxy S4, which comes with payWave preloaded on the embedded chip. Mihaescu said Sberbank has also talked to BlackBerry.

In addition to Android and BlackBerry NFC phones, it's possible Microsoft could support embedded chips in future versions of its Windows Phone operating system. To appease operators, Microsoft withheld support for embedded chips in its present Windows Phone 8 version.

HEADLINE NEWS

Contactless EMV Card Rollout in U.S. to Pick Up Speed in 2020, but Shape of Adoption Remains Unclear

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – With contactless EMV cards expected to have a significant footprint in the U.S. in 2020, the debate continues over whether the rollout will promote or harm take-up of NFC mobile payments and whether contactless open-loop transit payments will make a real impact on use of contactless at the retail point of sale.

More Open-Loop Transit Payments Services to Launch in Taiwan

Dec 24 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Taiwan’s airport train service will begin accepting Visa- and Mastercard-branded credit cards starting next month, making it the second mass-transit service on the island nation to support open-loop payments for fares.

In-Depth: China Moving Forward On Face Payments of Transit Fares, Despite Some Hesitation by Users of Technology

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight –  More and more Chinese cities are trialing use of facial recognition technology for transit ticketing, a development that could enable users to avoid either cards or smartphones to pay fares on subways and other modes of transit.

Apple Launches Express Transit in London; Mobility Service also Adds NFC Payments Feature in Apple Wallet

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple has expanded its Express Transit service to another major market, enabling Apple Pay users to pay for fares on Transport for London-run trains and buses without first authenticating themselves on the NFC devices.

Analysis: Outlook Remains Dim for Bank Mobile Wallets as Another Major Bank Plans to Shut Down its Wallet App

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Major Dutch bank ABN Amro will discontinue its NFC-enabled mobile wallet in January, a little more than three years after launching the app in late 2016, with the bank acknowledging that few customers use the service.

Use of Contactless EMV to Pay Transit Fares Accelerating, According to Two Agencies That Launched Service This Year

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Two transit agencies, one large and one small, that began accepting contactless bank cards and NFC wallets to pay fares in recent months are reporting that use of the new payments services is accelerating among their customers.

More Transit Authorities and Operators, Including Those in UK, to Support Google Pay

Nov 6 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive – San Francisco Bay Area transit authority MTC has confirmed to NFC Times that it will support mobile payments with its closed-loop Clipper transit card, including with Google Pay, by the end of 2020.

NFC Wallets Make Up Growing Share of Contactless Payments on London Transit

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Use of NFC wallets continues to steadily increase as part of Transport for London’s landmark contactless payments service, with payments from NFC-enabled smartphones and smartwatches now accounting for 20% of all contactless payments, NFC Times has learned. 

Market Research Firm: Apple Pay Surpasses Starbucks App in Users in U.S.

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight –Apple Pay, which launched its mobile payments service five years ago this week in the U.S., has so far failed to live up to expectations with the service, either in the U.S. or globally, in terms of users and transactions.

Cubic Strikes Deal with Google to Enable Closed-Loop Transit Payments in Google Pay

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – In a move that could enable more large transit agencies to offer NFC mobile payments with their closed-loop transit cards, U.S.-based Cubic Transportation Systems has signed an agreement with Google to integrate contactless transit cards with Google Pay. Among the agencies planning to support the service are those serving Google’s home base in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York. 

In-Depth: Persistent Consumer Security Fears about Mobile Payments Prove Difficult to Dislodge

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Results of yet another survey has shown that a significant percentage of U.S. consumers continue to harbor security fears about using their smartphones for payments, a stubborn problem that has hindered growth of mobile payments from the beginning.

Mobile Suica Still Accounts for Disappointing Share of Suica Users and Transactions in Japan

NFC TIMES Exclusive – While Apple Pay next month will mark the 5th anniversary since its launch in the U.S., there is another contactless-mobile payments service that is three times as old as Apple Pay–Japan’s Osaifu-Keitai, or wallet phones, which this year turned 15.