While the provisioning of NFC services remains a topic of debate, Bell ID CEO David Orme, believes that there is another issue that must be addressed; the ownership of the secure element.
In a blog post on Bell ID’s website, Orme explains that stakeholder discussions between banks, mobile network operators, handset manufacturers and service providers regarding secure element ownership and the management of access rights, has delayed any would be mobile payments solutions for handsets and app stores.
Orme suggests, however, that there is another way that is readily available now, the cloud.
“Today, secure element in the cloud is no longer a theoretical concept but a tried and tested option for the NFC marketplace,” says Orme. “The capability it offers will bring significant benefits to many NFC market participants including cost savings and increased control and security.”
Orme believes that by moving the secure element to the remote environment that is the cloud, the complexities and perceived cost of managing a physical secure element can be circumvented. To accompany his theory, Orme lists his top five reasons for considering the cloud secure element form factor:
- Independence and direct control
- Easier integration with third parties
- Lower costs
- Greater security and improved risk management
- Multiple cards, EMV applications and payment schemes
Orme concludes by stating that a cloud secure element form factor is all about control – control over cost, security, partners and management of the secure elements position in the value chain.
Echoing Orme’s sentiments is fellow Bell ID compatriot Joost Reijnen, product manager mobile for the company. In his own blog post on Bell ID’s site, Reijnen explains that cloud secure element offers better, more direct access to app issuers, and eases the launch and use of NFC-based mobile services.
Dubbing it an enabling technology, Reijnen explains that cloud secure elements can offer specific support to mobile network operators – carriers in the U.S. – by delivering NFC-enabled services to consumers. To further drive this point home, Reijnen outlines five benefits that a cloud secure element can offer to operators.
- Cut costs associated with reissuance of SIM cards
- Provide stronger authentication
- Support a wider service portfolio
- Easy updates and service launches makes Cloud secure elements future proof
- Allows for flexible, scalable business models
Reijnen concludes by stating secure elements in the cloud is not sidelining mobile network operators, but rather offering them an innovative technology that could immediately expand their capabilities, offering and revenues in the NFC market. Reijnen further posits that the cloud-based form factor will serve to bolster the industry’s move toward full-scale NFC deployments.