Qualcomm to Integrate Trusted Execution Environment with NFC Technology

While not a replacement for the embedded chip or other secure elements in NFC phones, the trusted execution environment on ARM-based smartphone processors can complement security of NFC applications, noted U.S.-based Qualcomm.

Qualcomm, which is the largest supplier of smartphone processors worldwide, plans to promote integration of the trusted execution environment, or TEE, with its NFC technology, due on the market later this year. Qualcomm hopes to sell OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) on the combination of NFC and the TEE.

At a presentation in May at the NFC Solutions Summit in San Francisco, Qualcomm’s Neeraj Bhatia noted that the TEE could secure the user interface running on smartphones, including PIN entry connected with an EMV application on a secure element.

The TEE also could secure storage of sensitive data on the handset, safeguard access between the phone and applications on SIM cards or embedded chips and likely enable mobile POS products.

While none of these proposed uses for the TEE is new–and they have been proposed by the joint venture, Trustonic, formed last year between UK-based ARM Holdings and smart card companies Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient–Qualcomm is making it clear it wants to sell the integration between the TEE on its Snapdragon processor chips with its new NFC technology.

Qualcomm said it expects to have its standalone NFC chip, the QCA1990, in devices during the second half of this year.

“NFC, the way Qualcomm looks at it, is a platform play,” Bhatia said. “It requires complex system-level integration. The trusted execution environment has a very important role to play in the market. It enhances platform-level security, it has really strong intersection with all the verticals that NFC is focusing on, and it’s very complementary to hardware-based secure elements.”

The company will work with one or more of the embedded secure element providers now marketing chips for NFC phones, and NFC Times has learned it might commission its own operating system for embedded chips and hire its own trusted service manager. Qualcomm has denied this.

Processor Intel has hired its own TSM for the embedded chips in its reference designs for smartphones, though Intel has a very small share of the processor market for smartphones, unlike Qualcomm.

“At this time we have not announced any interest or plans for our own secure OS or TSM,” he told NFC Times. “However, as mentioned before, we are working with a number of leading eSE and TSM providers.”

Qualcomm already supports digital rights management applications on the trusted execution environment without NFC, such as DRM for Hollywood movies. Keys are stored on the TEE to secure the content.

 

HEADLINE NEWS

Exclusive: Share of Contactless Rides Paid for with Apple Pay and other Pays Wallets in Manchester More than Doubles in Two Years

Transport for Greater Manchester in the UK is the latest transit agency seeing substantial growth of contactless open-loop fare payments from NFC mobile wallets–with the percentage of its contactless tram trips paid for with Apple Pay, Google Pay and other Pays services more than doubling over the past two years, NFC Times' sister publication Mobility Payments has learned.

Fifth Transit Agency to Conduct Open-Loop Payments Trial, Testing California’s ‘Mobility Marketplace’

California transit agency Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District said it plans to launch a pilot of contactless open-loop payments in early 2022, as it seeks to increase customer convenience and reduce use of cash on board its buses, NFC Times' sister publication Mobility Payments has learned.

In-Depth: Contactless Transactions Soar, but Transport for London Affirms that Oyster Will Remain Payments Option

Contactless open-loop payments have surged in recent months for Transport for London, returning to their steep growth trajectory before the pandemic, and now account for 70% of all pay-as-you-go, or PAYG, trips on the London Underground and two-thirds of PAYG trips on buses. And contactless has surpassed 50% of all trips–including those made with season tickets (see chart below).

Transport for London to Offer Weekly Fare Capping with Oyster Cards; Move Expected to Drive Even More Riders to Pay as You Go

In a move expected to make Transport for London’s pay-as-you-go model even more dominant and further erode support for season tickets and other period travel passes, the agency today said it will i

Sydney Transit Official: Opal Card Not Going Away, Despite Growth of Contactless

Sydney-based Transport for New South Wales, Australia’s largest transit agency, has no plans to phase out or de-emphasize its closed-loop Opal card, despite strong adoption of contactless open-loop

Dallas Latest City in U.S. to Accept Open-Loop Fare Payments

Dallas Area Rapid Transit, or DART, has become the latest transit agency in the U.S. to accept contactless open-loop payments, joining just four other U.S. agencies that support the technology, not counting small open-loop pilots happening in California.

While Interest is Growing in Going Cashless in U.S., Few Agencies have Accomplished the Feat So Far

The Greater Dayton RTA, which this month stopped accepting paper passes and tickets, will hit its Nov. 1 deadline to go completely cashless on board its vehicles, an agency representative confirmed to Mobility Payments.

Germany’s Largest Transit Operator Continues with Large Open-Loop Pilot on Buses; No Decision Yet on Rollout

Germany’s largest transit operator, BVG, said its pilot of contactless EMV payments extends to all of its nearly 1,500 buses, and the company has eliminated cash acceptance on board the vehicles, a spokesman confirmed to Mobility Payments. But officials in Berlin have not yet decided whether to make the contactless payments service permanent, he added.

Fairtiq App Sees Rising Usage as Covid-Era Riders Demand More ‘Touchless’ and PAYG Fare Options

Switzerland-based start-up Fairtiq said transactions for its fare-payments technology have more than double since February, as Covid-wary riders continue to seek what they consider to be more hygienic payments methods, as well as more pay-as-you-go options.

‘No Way We were Going to Ask for Half a Billion Dollars…’

Unlike other major transit agencies in the U.S., which have spent hundreds of millions of dollars replacing or upgrading their fare-collection systems, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has taken a different approach.

Apple's Digital Driver’s License Initiative Not Only One Progressing in U.S.

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Eight U.S. states will soon allow residents to store a digital version of their driver’s license or state identification card in the Apple Wallet, the tech giant announced, noting that the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, will accept the digital ID at airport security checkpoints and lanes. 

UK Bus Operator Go-Ahead Reports Cash Usage has Plummeted Because of Covid, While Contactless Transactions have Surged

The Go-Ahead Group, one of the big five privately owned public bus operators in the UK, said today it has seen cash usage on board the nearly 3,000 buses it runs in England outside of London fall to 23% of transactions, down from 53% three years ago.