Gemalto and CorFire to help Vodafone deploy NFC services

Vodafone plans to launch its mobile wallet service next year

Vodafone Group has announced new deals with digital security firm Gemalto and m-commerce company CorFire to help develop its mobile wallet offering.

Gemalto announced today that it will operate Vodafone Group's global Trusted Service Management (TSM) platform and deploy Near Field Communication (NFC) services solutions.

Meanwhile, CorFire will provide its CorPay mobile wallet software, which works in NFC and non-NFC environments, and can leverage the phone's secure element to encrypt and store personal account information.

These two deals will pave the way for secure "wave and pay" contactless transactions via mobile phone, as well as for related services that demand high levels of security, according to Vodafone. They build on the NFC trials the that Vodafone has been carrying out with Visa since February 2012.

Key elements of Gemalto's solution include its Allynis TSM service platform (which ensures end-to-end security encryption between financial institutions and mobile operators) and the company's UpTeq NFC high-end card product.

Gemalto's solution will also allow both Vodafone subsidiaries and third party service providers such as banks, transport operators and retailers to plug into the NFC ecosystem.

CorFire's platform relies on a full client/server architecture that allows the support of scenarios such as phone change and SIM switching. Dr. Jae Chung, CorFire's president and CEO, said the collaboration will enable financial institutions, transit authorities, merchants, and enterprises to leverage the mobile channel to expand their customer reach.

"We are committed to partnering with the best suppliers to offer customers the speed, simplicity and convenience of managing everyday transactions with a single wave or tap of their smartphones" said Christian Wirtz, Vodafone Group's mCommerce Director.

"The consumer benefits of contactless payments are obvious and the industry in Europe is now at the beginning of rolling out a contactless infrastructure. The potential of mobile to transform existing industries - such as financial services, retail and transport - is enormous."

A Vodafone spokesperson told Techworld that the company is looking to launch the mobile wallet service next year. This service will comply with the Project Oscar standards, which aim to ensure interoperability between different operators' mobile wallet offerings.

This means that, much in the way you can send a text to someone on another network, you will be able transfer money or receive money, the spokesperson said.

Earlier this month, ABI Research forecast that the total value spend of NFC mobile payments will rise from $4 billion in 2012 to $191 billion (£119 billion) in 2017, breaking the $100 billion (£624 billion) mark in 2016.

Mobile payments and, more importantly, the convergence between payment types - proximity, P2P and online - stored on a single NFC handset will be the initial trigger, driving market convergence across a host of other markets, including ticketing, retail, loyalty, and access control.

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