Feeds

NFC SD crew gives up: No one wants our safe bonking tool

When it comes to secure mobe transactions, 2 options are enough

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The NFC SD consortium - a collaboration attempting to capitalise on the use of removable memory to secure pay-by-bonk transactions - has called it a day seeing that no one wants to secure transactions using a Secure Digital (SD) card.

The investment, which NFC Times pegs at €3m, came mostly from Giesecke & Devrient but with €900K coming from Phison Electronics. The intention was to provide secure micro SD cards for NFC payments, initially with an integrated NFC antenna, then later using the phone's antenna over the Single Wire Protocol. But the industry is moving towards embedded and SIM-based secure elements, leaving NFC company Device Fidelity holding the flag for removable memory.

The shelving of the plan, which involves bringing staff back in-house and ending the collaboration, isn't that surprising given the way that SD cards have fallen out of favour as secure elements, with embedded and SIM-based options now becoming dominant.

Pay-by-bonk requires two distinct pieces of technology: 1) a radio standard by which the bonking of a phone onto a pad can trigger a transaction (for which Near Field Communications is used), and 2) a secure element with cryptographic tokens to authenticate the user while being entirely separate from the (implicitly insecure) phone OS.

Network operators want the secure element in the SIM, under their control, and have contrived the Single Wire Protocol to connect the SIM to the NFC antenna in the handset, so a customer changing handset can take their bank cards with them seamlessly. Handset manufacturers, conversely, want the secure element in the phone so customers can change network operators seamlessly.

Many banks wanted a third way - a secure element in a removable Micro SD card, with its own antenna or using the SWP, so the customer could change network operators, and handsets, while taking their banking details with them.

It’s a battle for ownership of the customer, and one which the banks have largely lost. The banks had an early lead, deploying large-scale trials only hampered by the iPhone's lack of SD card slot (there's a demographic overlap between iPhone owners and those interested in paying by bonk, enough to prompt several trials using iPhone cases with SD slots in them).

The withdrawal of Giesecke & Devrient isn't the end of the matter, SD Cards will still be pushed by some, but in most markets the question now comes down to whether the secure element should be owned by the network operator (Vodafone, O2, EE) or the platform owner (Apple, Google, BlackBerry), or an unhappy combination of the two. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.