Vodafone's head of m-commerce in Spain has moved to allay fears that Visa and MasterCard's recently announced support for Host Card Emulation could hurt telcos' efforts to prosper in the mobile money arena, insisting to Finextra that HCE is "good news".
Last week Visa and MasterCard gave their support to HCE, a cloud-based mechanism for hosting NFC applications outside the Secure Element that effectively removes the need for bank reliance on telcos in implementing mobile payments.
HCE allows any NFC application on an Android device to emulate a smart card, letting users pay with their smartphones, while permitting financial institutions to host payment accounts in a secure, virtual cloud, rather than renting space on the SIM from airtime operators.
Speaking to Finextra at Mobile World Congress, Ibo Sanz, in-country mobile commerce director, Vodafone Spain, insisted that for Vodafone it is "good news that there is somebody making this [HCE] homogeneous for everyone and easy to use and we look forward to introducing those services into our wallet".
Sanz argues that with some services - such as financial - requiring "higher security" than others, Vodafone will combine "different usages" within its wallet, mixing technologies.VodaFone's Sanz speaking to Finextra at MWC
James Anderson, group head emerging payments, MasterCard, also spoke to Finextra about HCE, claiming that it has a "simpler technology deployment and I think it has the option for a simpler business model. And so for us, the real problem it solves is getting to a mass scale faster so that we can get this capability to the hands of more consumers sooner."MasterCard's Anderson and Albert Figueras Moreno from Banco Sabadell talk HCE with Finextra
Visa has also moved to raise the profile of HCE, posting a video of Bank Inter's Alberto Perez Lafuente and Seglan's Imanol Garcia demonstrating the application of HCE for the Spanish bank's forthcoming mobile payments launch.For more videos from Mobile World Congress, visit the Finextra TV page.