SIMalliance: HCE Will Expedite NFC Rollout (June 23, 2014)
Host card emulation (HCE) technology has gained an unlikely supporter. SIMalliance, which had been critical of HCE’s role in bringing NFC-based mobile payments into the mainstream, said today that HCE likely will expedite SIM-based NFC payment deployments. SIMalliance, the trade group that works to promote the secure element’s (SE) role in payments, previously had questioned HCE’s lack of widespread standardization and vulnerabilities relative to SE-based systems.
“SIMalliance recognizes that a future NFC landscape will consist of HCE- and SE-based models, together with hybrid deployment models,” said Frédéric Vasnier, SIMalliance chairman. He noted that consensus among SIMalliance membership is that HCE can drive mass adoption of NFC services because it offers a speedier route to market and makes NFC more accessible and versatile to developers. As familiarity increases, demand for NFC SIM-based services also will grow, he added.
SIMalliance’s comments follow the release of a report this month, “HCE and SIM Secure Element: It’s not black and white,” by Consult Hyperion and the GSMA, which suggests that the HCE and SIM SE approaches to NFC payments shouldn’t be viewed as mutually exclusive, and that combining the approaches might enable solutions to be optimized for different markets.
“Even when a payment service provider opts for a HCE-tokenization approach to NFC payments, there is still a valuable role for the MNO’s SE to play,” Vasnier said. “For example: the user could authenticate to the token service provider using SE stored credentials; additionally, the risks introduced by storing tokens in a non-secure environment may be manageable for low-value credentials but are likely to be unacceptable when dealing with high-value credentials, so the storage of tokens in a tamper resistant SE inevitably provides the most secure solution.”
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