So we can say contactless is useful for small purchases where it’s designed to replace cash, but this only works for a small market segment like quick service restaurants. What about the big multi-lane checkout supermarkets where shoppers fill trolleys with a weekly shop that goes way above the micro-payment limit? Why bother installing contact-less in all those lanes if the terminals would hardly see any use?
Now fast forward a few years to the future when mobiles are equipped with Near Field Communications, essentially allowing your phone to emulate your contact-less credit cards. Again great for low value transactions, but go above the micro-payment limit then how do you insert your phone into a payment terminal to do a Chip&PIN transaction? Will the shop assistant ask you to put your phone away and get your payment card out? Where did the promise of convenience go?
Why not enter your PIN on the phone? After all you’re bringing your own keypad and screen to the transaction. Not so fast! Your embedded smart card, SIM card or secure MicroSD card that store your payment application don’t have a direct connection to the mobile’s keypad. How do you stop malware on your nice open handset that can run ANY application from intercepting your password and using it to generate payments for things you don’t want? There needs to be some security that securely tunnels the phone’s keypad to your embedded payment chip and that’s where ARM TrustZone comes in. In an upcoming blog, I’ll describe TrustZone in more detail.
Below is my interview with Qualcomm from last year's Mobile World Congress where we discussed their secure payment demo with TrustZone.
Have you tried contact-less payments? Did I miss anything from your nirvana for mobile payments?
Rob Brown, Secure Solutions Segment Marketing, ARM. Rob joined ARM in 2005 to drive design wins in the Smart Card segment. He is now responsible for directing ARM security market strategy and business development which includes ARM products such as TrustZone and SecurCore, external partnerships and supporting industry activity. Prior to joining ARM he worked for 8 years in the RFID sector in start-up companies and silicon IP providers for NFC and played an active role in the in defining the support for the NFC Forum Type 1 tag. He holds a Bachelors degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Manchester. He is a certified payments geek and is waiting impatiently for the first devices that can make payments faster and easier to use. He looks forward to the day when he can buy whatever he wants from whoever’s got it, wherever they are with a single click.
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