Dutch vendor Bell ID has launched a cloud-based secure element for the provisioning of mobile NFC services, eliminating the need for hardware within the handset.
Mobile NFC payment services have traditionally relied on a physical secure element (SE) provided by a handset manufacturer or network operator, requiring firms to strike deals with various partners, fostering fragmentation and slowing adoption of the technology.
The Bell ID software means that when a transaction is made, the customer's NFC credential is accessed from the cloud and the appropriate command is generated and sent back through the mobile to the contactless payment terminal.
The data is presented in the same format as that used in standard card-present transactions and the system can also pre-authorise payments, allowing people to make transactions even when a connection to the server cannot be established.
David Orme, CEO, Bell ID, says: "By moving the SE from a physical device to a remote environment, application issuers are able to directly provision their applications to an SE. This enables them to take full control of their relationship with the customer and ensure a consistent brand and user experience across all available channels and services."
Earlier this year, Spain's Bankinter opted to circumvent the physical element, citing the freedom that a remote option gives it.
Speaking at EBAday recently, Sirpa Nordlund, executive director of the Mobey Forum predicted that this could be the beginning of a trend and we could now see a significant move from the chip, which she describes as 80s technology, to a software-based system that means NFC might finally take off.
Mobile money, in all its forms, will be on the agenda when financial services professionals from around Europe gather in Barcelona on Tuesday for MobeyDay, organised by the Mobey Forum and Finextra.