New Smart Card Alliance White Paper Examines NFC and Host Card Emulation (HCE) Opportunities, Security Considerations

New Smart Card Alliance White Paper Examines NFC and Host Card Emulation (HCE) Opportunities, Security Considerations

Princeton Junction, N.J., August 14, 2014 – Host card emulation (HCE) is one of the most talked about mobile innovations today, providing solutions providers with a new architecture to implement convenient mobile NFC-based solutions. But how does the new architecture impact application security? The Smart Card Alliance takes a deep dive into HCE and NFC opportunities and security considerations in a new white paper released today, “HCE 101.”

“HCE 101” is available for free download at

“HCE unlocks the potential for NFC deployments without the need for integration with the mobile device’s secure element or for the support of a trusted service manager. This is an opportunity for application developers to more easily provide convenient and consumer-friendly NFC applications, but also increases the chances of hackers gaining access to information through malware and/or denial of service attacks,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “This white paper looks at both aspects of the HCE opportunity and provides insights on measures that can be taken to secure HCE implementations.”

Developed by the Smart Card Alliance Mobile and NFC Council, the white paper:

  • Describes HCE and NFC technology in today’s mobile ecosystem
  • Explores considerations for HCE in mobile payments and commerce implementations
  • Explores considerations of HCE for non-payments implementations
  • Discusses the security considerations that accompany HCE implementations and the various methods that can add layers of security to transactions
  • Outlines example use cases for both payment and non-payment applications
  • Provides a comparison of key considerations for HCE and secure element-enabled NFC implementations

The Smart Card Alliance Mobile and NFC Council also recently released “Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 101: A Technology Primer with Example Use Cases,” an educational resource on BLE that describes what it is, how it is used, how it fits with other mobile technologies and what security aspects should be considered for BLE-enabled applications. It can be downloaded at

Additional NFC resources can be found at

White Paper Contributors

Participants involved in the development of the “Host Card Emulation (HCE) 101” white paper included: ABnote Group; Advanced Card Systems Ltd.; BetterBuyDesign; Capgemini USA Inc.; CH2M Hill; CorFire; Cubic Transportation Systems; Discover Financial Services; First Data Corporation; Fiserv, Inc.; Gemalto; Giesecke & Devrient; HID Global; HP Enterprise Services; Identiv; Ingenico; Initiative for Open Authentication (OATH); INSIDE Secure; Intercede; IQ Devices; Isis; MasterCard; NXP Semiconductors; Oberthur Technologies; OTI America; Thales e-Security; Underwriters Laboratories (UL); Valid USA; VeriFone.

About the Smart Card Alliance Mobile and NFC Council

The Smart Card Alliance Mobile and NFC Council was formed to raise awareness and accelerate the adoption of payments, loyalty, marketing, promotion/coupons/offers, peer-to-peer, identity, and access control applications using NFC. The Council focuses on activities that will help to accelerate the practical application of the technology, providing a bridge between technology development/specification and the applications that can deliver business benefits to industry stakeholders.

The Council takes a broad industry view and brings together industry stakeholders in the different vertical markets that can benefit from mobile and NFC applications. The Council collaborates on:

  • Educating the market on the technology and the value of mobile and NFC applications
  • Developing best practices for implementation
  • Working on identifying and overcoming issues inhibiting the industry

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.

Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit


Megan Shamas
Montner & Associates Tech PR
[email protected]