Host-card emulation is an opportunity to drive growth for the whole near field communications market, the SIMalliance reports. The industry association – whose members represent 86% of the SIM card market – states that future deployments will be a mix of host card and SIM-based apps.
“Host-card emulation promises to drive forward mass adoption of NFC services as it offers a speedier route to market and makes NFC more accessible and versatile,” said SIMalliance Chairman Frederic Vasnier. Yet, “there is an increasing acceptance that Host-card emulation will be best suited to certain types of low value NFC applications. The enhanced security offered by a SE continues to make it a necessary requirement in high value NFC service deployments.”
Vasnier’s comments follow the release this month of the Consult Hyperion/GSMA paper HCE and SIM Secure Element: It’s Not Black and White. The paper serves as a guide for banks and mobile operators to understand HCE and SE approaches to NFC payments.
“The mobile app (and the operating system on which it depends) does not offer the same levels of security as a hardware secure element and therefore alternative approaches to security are required,” the report states. “Typically, these will involve provisioning single use or limited use payment credentials to the mobile device, to minimise the impact of compromise. No long term storage of sensitive data, such as PANs, PINs and keys, is appropriate within the mobile handset OS.”
The paper explains that while host-card emulation simplifies things by enabling mobile NFC payments without a SIM secure element, it also requires a different approach to security.
“Host Card Emulation has been hailed as a potential game changer for card-based NFC proximity payments,” said David Baker with the UK Card Association. “This report gives valuable advice and guidance on the issues the industry must address, and highlights the real need for collaboration between ecosystem partners to ensure greater adoption of mobile payment services.”