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October 15, 2015

Smart Card Alliance Shows Rise in NFC Device Creation, Discusses Security

A recent report from the Smart Card Alliance, a not-for-profit group that works to advance the use of smart card technology, notes that the number of near field communication (NFC) handsets is rising and that security for these devices should both increase consumer privacy and not stand in the way of that rise.

Smart Card Alliance first brings up the words of Paula Hunter, the director of the NFC Forum, who noted that the number of NFC devices on the market today reaches about one billion. Furthermore, that number is expected to double in just 14 months.

“We’ve seen a huge shift in NFC handsets available in the marketplace,” Hunter exclaimed before noting those figures. This changes the entire market by allowing more vendors to get into the game and providing existing vendors with the knowledge that consumers are ready and willing to adopt such handsets.

Concerning security, these willing consumers will also have their hands full with trying to protect their data. Vendors can deploy a number of security techniques such as host card emulation and trusted executive environment, and they can use phones’ SIM card to their benefit and, ultimately, to the benefit of each consumer.

Smart Card Alliance notes, though, that the implementation of these security techniques should not stand in the way of overall market increase.

“The difference between NFC and other contactless protocols is that the consumer controls their own experience,” Hunter continued. “That’s how consumers can know they’re protected.”

This consumer control means that individuals need to be smart about how they use their mobile devices. They should only use them with trusted vendors and continue to monitor their payment accounts to keep abreast of any fraudulent charges that could befall them.

For a deeper discussion of host card emulation and NFC user security, readers can refer to a previous TMC report of Smart Card Alliance considerations. Although the technology is rising to support consumer demand for quick payment services, it is ultimately up to the consumer to decide how best to manage their devices. With NFC, more than with many other mobile tools, there is consumer choice, but no consumer should ever take their financial security lightly or expect any mobile tech to protect them outright.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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