BBVA Adopts HCE for Mobile Wallet (June 30, 2014)
Getting mobile payments services to market quickly is one of the calling cards for host card emulation (HCE) technology, and Spanish financial services group BBVA is claiming to be the first major global bank to commercially launch an HCE-based mobile contactless payments service. The service uses Visa’s cloud-based NFC specification. Earlier this year, Visa and MasterCard unveiled an updated standard embracing HCE, enabling banks and merchants to add NFC functionality to their apps.
BBVA customers in Spain with an NFC-equipped Android smartphone can use HCE to make payments after updating the BBVA Wallet app. The bank also is offering stickers for customers with phones that aren’t NFC-equipped. The service is expected to be rolled out to customers in Chile, Mexico and the U.S. later this year, according to an announcement.
HCE has had its share of supporters and detractors since the technology was first introduced. Supporters tout its cloud-based credential storage, which enables developers to launch NFC mobile wallets without involving a telecom provider, among other benefits. Its detractors question the technology’s security and lack of widespread standardization. However, HCE has been winning converts, including SIMalliance, which said last week that HCE likely will expedite SIM-based NFC payment deployments.
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