Smart Card Alliance White Paper Says Stakeholder Collaboration is Key for Secure Proximity Mobile Payments

Smart Card Alliance White Paper Says Stakeholder Collaboration is Key for Secure Proximity Mobile Payments

Princeton Junction, New Jersey, May 20, 2009 – The ability to pay for transit, groceries, and other products by simply waving a cell phone near a point-of-sale (POS) device represents an exciting new era of payment in the United States and Canada. But how will security be managed in an ecosystem where financial institutions, mobile network operators (MNOs), and others need to come together to manage their own unique aspect of the payment process?

The Smart Card Alliance answers this question in a new white paper, “Security of Proximity Mobile Payments,” available for download.

The white paper focuses on a “collaboration model,” where financial institutions, MNOs, trusted third parties and other stakeholders in the mobile payments ecosystem cooperate in the management and deployment of mobile applications. The white paper introduces the players, their roles, and their responsibilities in assuring the security of sensitive data. It explains how the payment application, consumer credentials, and consumer account information (such as a credit card number) are securely delivered to, loaded on, and stored in a mobile device. It also identifies risks present during the lifecycle of the payment information stored on the mobile device and suggests appropriate countermeasures.

“There is no question that consumers love mobile technology and view it as a necessity in their daily lives, so it makes sense for the next step to be paying with cell phones,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “This white paper explains how industry stakeholders can take advantage of this love of mobile technology and introduce secure proximity mobile payments by collaborating and leveraging proven technology and a merchant infrastructure that is already in place.”

Proximity mobile payments are defined as payments to a merchant that are initiated from a mobile phone that uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and is held close to the merchant’s POS equipment. NFC will soon be available as standard functionality in many mobile phones, allowing consumers to perform secure contactless transactions, access digital content, and connect electronic devices simply. NFC-enabled mobile phones use the existing ISO/IEC 14443 standard – the same standard used for contactless financial payments – for communicating payment information from the phone to the merchant’s POS terminal. From the consumer’s perspective, the proximity mobile payment looks just like a contactless credit or debit card transaction. Payments are processed over the current secure financial networks, with all of the layers of robust security used with traditional financial payment transactions.

Participants involved in the development of this report included: Booz Allen Hamilton, Collis America, Cubic, Discover Financial Services, Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), IBM Global Business Services, IfD Consulting, Infineon Technologies, Keypoint Consulting, MasterCard Worldwide, VeriFone, Visa, and ViVOtech.

About the Smart Card Alliance Contactless and Mobile Payments Council

The Contactless and Mobile Payments Council is one of several Smart Card Alliance technology and industry councils. The Council was formed to focus on facilitating the adoption of contactless and mobile payments in the U.S. through education programs for consumers, merchants and issuers. The group is bringing together financial payments industry leaders, merchants and suppliers. The Council’s primary goal is to inform and educate the market about the value of contactless and mobile payment and work to address misconceptions about the capabilities and security of contactless technology. Council participation is open to any Smart Card Alliance member who wishes to contribute to the Council projects.

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.

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