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Microsoft unveils mobile wallet with SIM-based NFC

21 June 2012  |  18001 views  |  4 Nokia NFC phone

Tech giant Microsoft has made its mobile money move, adding a digital wallet and SIM-based NFC to its latest operating system, Windows Phone 8.

Taking the wraps off the new OS at a summit yesterday, Joe Belfiore, who runs Windows Phone product definition and design, claimed that Microsoft has developed what will be the most complete wallet experience on any smartphone when it launches this Autumn.

Like Apple's new Passbook app, the wallet aims to replace its physical counterpart by acting as a central hub where users can store all of their debit, credit and membership cards and coupons. These third party apps are integrated into the wallet though an API, meaning users can do things like check balances and collect coupons from one place.

Unlike Apple, Microsoft is also making an NFC play to enable users to make low value contactless payments with the cards in their wallet through a tap of the handset at the point-of-sale.

In contrast to another rival, Google, Microsoft has opted for a secure NFC SIM-based system. Belfiore told the audience at yesterday's summit that Google's decision to put the secure element in the device has had some "unfortunate side effects" with operators snubbing it because they want a SIM-based system that allows customers to keep it from one phone to the next.

Orange, which is the launch operator partner for the Wallet, has praised the SIM move. The company's Yves Maitre told the summit via video that it is important that Microsoft has aligned with the recommendations of the telco trade body, the GSMA, on the issue.

Orange will be first to market with the full wallet service when it launches in France in the Autumn but all phones with the new OS will include the wallet hub whether they have the secure SIM or not, meaning customers will still be able to store third party apps.

Belfiore also revealed that Microsoft has also been working with Isis, the US consortium of telcos that is building its own wallet, and expects to have its system on Isis at some point next year.
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Comments: (4)

Alexander Peschkoff
Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 21 June, 2012, 12:40

"Secure SIM-based system"

The question - to which there seems to be no clear answer at present - is about the control of that secure element.

There are 8,430 active banks in the USA. Will all of them have access to that SIM? Which party has authority to allow a particular bank (or a consumer, for that matter) to add a given card to Microsoft's m-wallet: Microsoft itself, handset OEM, SIM suppier, MNO, Visa/MC, third party TSM or me (just kidding)?

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Alexander Peschkoff
Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 21 June, 2012, 13:42

Directly related to the question of secure element control, is the issue of liability? Does that depend on the type of transaction (offline vs online)?

 

 

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 21 June, 2012, 16:50

Going down the route of using the SIM was a bad idea.  Transferring from device to device doesn't rely on using a SIM.  The Mobile Operators will have too much control of the Business Design of this service - rather than the Financial Institutions.

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David Abbott
David Abbott - PayCommerce - chelmsford | 29 June, 2012, 16:34

So does microsoft expect droves of merchants to add Microsoft wallet to their checkout pages/POS/MOTO call centres.... Why? Who will have a Microsoft mobile wallet that does not have a faster/simpler/more secure/more prevalent payment method available to them now, than Microsoft Wallet.... I could say the same for Google wallet and Paypals barcode POS wallet system (has a few upsides)

If so - what will the merchants have to pay for the dubious benefits of accepting microsoft wallet.... I assume its not a free service and that MS want to make money from it... or will MS want to charge the user for services, or sell data on spending habits... BTW NCR announced a new slower more complex Mobile phone based ATM system recently... they are looking for partners too

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