GOTrust Technology has announced that its NFC-enabled microSD secure element will be used in China UnionPay’s mobile payments roll out in China.
After trials in the Sichuan province in Western China, China UnionPay says it will deploy GOTrust’s SWP microSD cards in the new HTC Incredible NFC Android smart phone. According to GOTrust, this will result in a mass shipment of 500,000 microSD’s to the user market during the next six months. Further phases are estimated to deliver millions of additional units through 2012.
The original HTC phone design used an NFC-enabled SIM card provided through the mobile operator that acted as the secure element for contactless transactions. However, the Chinese government decided to avoid a mobile payment and banking system controlled by telecoms in favor of direct bank control, according to GOTrust.
China Union Pay addressed this issue by publishing the SWP-SD standard, designed to allow banks full control of the secure element in newly designed NFC phones. The SWP-SD standard stipulated that NFC phones should work with either a SIM secure element or a microSD secure element for NFC transactions.
This shift has created “massive” interest with banks, says GOTrust, which for the first time can see a way of controlling the total life cycle of mobile banking.
Mobile phone manufacturers are further driving the shift, with HTC as the first to deliver the dual standard NFC phone and several other major China-based manufacturers announcing product road maps that include dual SWP standard phones available within six months. This independent secure element could possibly be an option for built-in NFC phones.
The GO-Trust microSD features 4GB flash memory card and a JAVA smart card that can support all other types of secure banking transactions, including funds transfer, bill pay, auto recharge of the NFC purse or ticket/voucher store.
The microSD can even transform the phone into a mobile point of sale terminal. This feature will be particularly useful in Western China, as Farmer’s Market economies are still dominant, says GoTrust. The technology would be equally effective in other applications such as gate ticket sales, swap meets and food wagons.