Tag: HCE technology

First contactless mobile payments in India to be launched by ICICI Bank

The financial institution claims that it has chosen NFC technology in order to enhance transaction security.

ICICI Bank has recently announced that it will be offering the first contactless mobile payments service in India, after having looked into the various options and decided that NFC technology is the best way to keep transaction data safe throughout the process.

This will make it possible for consumers with one of their credit or debit cards to pay using a smartphone.

Of course, this will require that consumers who want to use the contactless mobile payments will need to shop at a store or restaurant with an NFC reader terminal. At the moment, they are in the vast minority in India. Still, the bank has decided that this is the best way to ensure that consumers keep their sensitive data safe throughout the transaction process, which is what drove them to make this choice. Users of the bank’s Pockets app and who have the right type of device will be eligible to use this service.

This represents the first time that Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology is used for contactless mobile payments in India.

ICICI Bank - Contactless Mobile PaymentsThe HCE tech makes it possible for consumers to be able to use their smartphones as a kind of virtual card so that payments can be made without having to bring the actual plastic credit and banking cards into the shop. The cards compatible with this service are those that have been issued by ICICI Bank, including debit, Visa and MasterCard.

The virtual credit and debit card data is stored in the secure cloud server from the bank. Just as the service requires a merchant’s point of sale to include an NFC reader, it also means that shoppers who want to use these mobile payments will also need to have NFC technology enabled phones. Most smartphones in India do not have this tech, at the moment, which means that there will likely be quite a limited user base upon the initial launch of this service.

Contactless mobile payments using NFC technology are growing in popularity among smartphone wallet companies around the world, including tech, credit card and other financial giants. Among the most well known are Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Mobile payments using HCE tested in New Zealand by Westpac

The Australian bank is the first bank in New Zealand to try out Host Card Emulation (HCE) m-payments.

According to Westpac, it is utilizing Carta Worldwide’s HCE technology for its three month NFC-enabled mobile payments trial in New Zealand, and the payments systems is compatible exclusively with Android smartphones equipped with the most recent software updates.

Westpac hopes to launch a digital wallet in the country.

Shane Howell, the chief product officer of Westpac said that the trial is the initial steps toward a fully digital wallet in the country and that they expect their mobile wallet will be available to customers in early 2015.

Howell stated that “We already use our smartphones to organize so many aspects of our lives, so using them to make payments is just a natural extension of this.” He added that the three month test is only the “first of four key components we are looking to develop that will make up a digital wallet for Westpac customers.”

He explained that there are additional components that the financial institution is considering incorporating into its digital wallet, such as loyalty programs and public transit transport cards. It is even considering a form of ID, such as a driver’s license. Howell said that what Westpac is working toward achieving is a “true digital wallet experience” that is easy for customers to use and that is safe.

Mobile payments security is an essential feature of the digital wallet.

Westpac developed the mobile wallet in a partnership it made with Carta Worldwide, a company known for global payments innovation. The Australian bank has said that for its digital wallet, security is key.

Rui Mendes, Carta’s chief technology officer said that with Carta’s advanced and layered security, every single mobile transaction that is made is protected. HCE allows for secure mobile transactions that are compatible with contactless terminals. The company’s cloud-based solution is equally as secure as using plastic cards because of its data security advancements and its app features, such as mobile PIN.

The three month mobile payments trial involves a selection of 40 Westpac customers and employees across New Zealand.