NFC Forum Forges Collaborative Links with EMVCo, GSM Association and Smart Card Alliance

NFC Forum Forges Collaborative Links with EMVCo, GSM Association and Smart Card Alliance

Organization strengthens ties with leadership groups across the global ecosystem

Wakefield, Mass., USA, Feb. 9, 2010–The NFC Forum (http://www.nfc-forum.org), a non-profit industry association that advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, today announced it has formed liaisons with three industry-leading organizations key to the NFC global ecosystem: EMVCo, the GSM Association and the Smart Card Alliance. These liaisons broaden and strengthen the NFC Forum’s collaborative ties with key associations and standards bodies across the NFC ecosystem. As a first step in the liaisons, the Forum has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with each organization that outlines how they will collaborate to further the development of the NFC market and NFC-based solutions.

EMVCo

EMVCo’s primary role is to manage, maintain and enhance the EMV™ Integrated Circuit Card Specifications to ensure interoperability and acceptance of payment system integrated circuit cards on a worldwide basis.

With this new liaison, EMVCo will share relevant technical information with the NFC Forum that will enable the certification of properly-provisioned NFC devices for use in the following scenarios:

  • to make POS payments (in Card Emulation mode) wherever such payments can be made with EMVCo contactless card products;
  • to act as POS devices (in Reader/Writer mode) within the EMVCo contactless payment infrastructure.

GSM Association (GSMA)

The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. The new partnership will facilitate the NFC Forum and GSMA working together by:

  • exchanging information relating to each other’s programs through written comments;
  • commenting on technical specifications, certification and testing requirements;
  • sharing documents of interest and relevance to members of both organizations;
  • collaborating on joint marketing activities, such as seminar sessions, white papers and presentations; and
  • attending each other’s meetings as appropriate.

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.

The Smart Card Alliance is teaming up with the NFC Forum on several joint marketing initiatives, including educational programs for vertical markets such as retail and transport. Other programs under discussion include presentations at each other’s events and meetings, a joint event targeting the retail market in the U.S., and the provision for regular information sharing between the NFC Forum Marketing Committee and Smart Card Alliance Contactless and Mobile Payments Council.

“The ongoing global deployment and adoption of NFC technology requires our close cooperation and interaction with all the key players in the NFC ecosystem,” said Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum. “As the leading voices representing payment card companies, mobile operators, and the smart card industry, respectively, EMVCo, GSMA and Smart Card Alliance are valued partners in our efforts to bring the ease and power of NFC technology to mobile users around the globe.”

In addition to EMVCo, GSMA and SmartCard Alliance, the NFC Forum has established liaisons with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the Mobey Forum, a global financial industry forum whose mission is to facilitate the offering by banks of mobile financial services.

About EMVCo

EMVCo LLC was formed in February 1999 by Europay, MasterCard and Visa to manage, maintain and enhance the EMV™ Integrated Circuit Card Specifications for Payment Systems. With the acquisition of Europay by MasterCard in 2002, JCB joining the organisation in 2004 and American Express becoming its fourth member in 2009, EMVCo is currently operated by American Express, JCB, MasterCard and Visa.

EMVCo’s primary role is to manage, maintain and enhance the EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specifications to ensure interoperability and acceptance of payment system integrated circuit cards on a worldwide basis. EMVCo also maintains type approval processes for terminal compliance testing and Common Core Definitions (CCD) and Common Payment Application (CPA) card compliance testing. These testing processes ensure that a single terminal and card approval process is developed at a level that will allow cross payment system interoperability through compliance with the EMV specifications. Additional information can be found at http://www.emvco.com.

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile communications industry. For more information, please visit: http://www.gsmworld.com.

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 http://www.securetechalliance.org.

About Near Field Communication Technology

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a standards-based, short-range wireless connectivity technology that enables simple and safe two-way interactions between electronic devices. NFC technology allows consumers to perform contactless transactions, access digital content and connect devices with the simplicity of a single touch.

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology provides global interoperability of contactless identification and interconnection technologies. NFC operates in the 13.56 MHz frequency range, over a typical distance of a few centimeters. The underlying layers of NFC technology are based on ISO, ECMA, and ETSI standards. NFC technology is supported by the world’s leading communication device manufacturers, semiconductor producers, network operators, IT and services companies, and financial services organizations. NFC is compatible with hundreds of millions of contactless cards and readers already deployed worldwide.

About the NFC Forum

The NFC Forum, http://www.nfc-forum.org, was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by leading mobile communications, semiconductor and consumer electronics companies. The Forum’s mission is to advance the use of Near Field Communication technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services and educating the market about NFC technology. The Forum’s 140 global member companies currently are developing specifications for a modular NFC device architecture, and protocols for interoperable data exchange and device-independent service delivery, device discovery and device capability.

The NFC Forum’s Sponsor members, which hold seats on the Board of Directors, include leading players in key industries around the world. The Sponsor members are: Innovision Research & Technology plc, INSIDE Contactless, MasterCard Worldwide, Microsoft Corp., NEC, Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, Inc., NXP Semiconductors, Renesas Technology, Samsung, Sony Corporation, STMicroelectronics and Visa Inc.

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