Joint Action

Joint Action

EPC and GlobalPlatform seek to align mobile contactless technology

26 September 11

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Fostering cross-industry cooperation in mobile marketplace

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been agreed between and GlobalPlatform to coordinate their work initiatives within the mobile contactless environment. By signing the MoU the two parties aim to promote the availability of interoperable and neutral technology that will support a flexible and sustainable mobile payments marketplace. By synchronizing their activities, the organisations  avoid duplication of effort, have access to member-only work priorities, and capitalise on the impressive wealth of market and technical expertise available across both parties.

GlobalPlatform is committed to developing enhanced specifications that will offer many benefits to the mobile community. Related principles are described in a GlobalPlatform white paper (see link below): the aim is to realise a scalable and sustainable mobile contactless ecosystem by standardising how organisations delivering a solution to market interact, facilitating new opportunities for existing deployments and avoiding proprietary solutions. Collaboration across industry associations is key to establishing such a usable and secure infrastructure. Most importantly, the cooperation between the and GlobalPlatform supports the implementation of the -Roadmap for mobile payments services such as contactless card proximity payments and remote payments, fosters interoperability and contributes to a cohesive ecosystem that leverages the infrastructure implemented by the European banking industry.

Next Steps

The could build on the GlobalPlatform technical specifications developed with respect to the contactless payment application on the mobile phone, including mechanisms to manage and maintain the contactless payment application throughout its life cycle. These specifications could contribute to making it possible for the payments industry to outsource the load and maintenance of their mobile payment applications to so-called "Trusted Service Managers" (TSMs) that will manage these roles on their behalf.

Indeed, the current GlobalPlatform specifications allow the creation of a security domain under the full control of the issuing bank on the UICC* distributed by the mobile network operator. Moreover, GlobalPlatform has specified security mechanisms which could enable the issuing bank to download and to maintain the payment application (e.g., parameter updates) on the UICC. These specifications in turn support the Trusted Service Management (TSM) specifications currently being developed by the and GSMA, the global trade association representing the mobile network operator (MNO) community (see EPC Newsletter, Issue 1, January 2009). Additional GlobalPlatform deliverables include Embedded Secure Elements which are also addressed in the Roadmap for mobile payments services.

In a next step, and GlobalPlatform will verify  GlobalPlatform's technology against the use cases for mobile payments. Focus will also be placed on the capabilities of the GlobalPlatform Messaging Specification to standardise communication between the different players in the mobile proximity payments ecosystem such as banks, TSM operators and mobile network operators. Last but not least, possible cooperation on compliance and certification of the secure element that hosts the mobile payment application(s) will be analysed.

These efforts to align work in progress illustrate once again the importance of cross-industry cooperation as a means to efficiently avail the mobile for the initiation of payments and to create trust in the rapidly expanding mobile eco-system.

Dag-Inge Flatraaker is the Chair of the M-Channel Group.

Related Link

 GlobalPlatform white paper 'GlobalPlatform's Proposition for NFC Mobile: Secure Element Management and Messaging'.

* UICC stands for the Universal Integrated Circuit Card, also known as a SIM card.

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