UL now offering cloud-based payments services

Source: UL

UL is pleased to announce its plans to expand its service offering to include services for HCE vendors, card issuers and application developers with regards to cloud-based payments.

When Google introduced the latest version of its mobile Operating System, Android 4.4 KitKat in October 2013, which included a new Near Field Communication (NFC) feature ‘Host-based Card Emulation’  (HCE), this development garnered quite some attention in the NFC and mobile payment industry. It opens up the possibility to perform NFC card emulation without using a hardware Secure Element (SE) in mobile handsets.

Amos Kater, Practice Leader Mobile & Payment Practice at UL’s Transaction Security Division, said: “HCE, or cloud-based payments when looking at it from a broader perspective, gives card issuers and other service providers the freedom to act independent from MNOs and OEMs (in case of eSE). It gives banks even more freedom to convergence mobile banking and mobile payment applications.” 

MNOs, banks and other service providers now have the option besides a Secure Element to take on the mobile payments opportunity. However questions arise how this impacts their product proposition, market uptake, effort and costs required to implement a cloud-based solution. 

Mr Kater added: “Cloud-based payments can be implemented through cloud-based security and tokenization. Recent developments have indicated tokenization to play a vital part in authentication and verification; however card issuers and application developers have approached us with questions. What should be tokenized for HCE/cloud-based payments; what systems are involved; and are there new roles in the ecosystem related to that? And what exactly do payment schemes like Visa and MasterCard have to say about all of this? As UL we are committed to advise and training our customers on the subject. Hence we have extended our service offering. Our experts will support card issuers, MNOs, HCE vendors and application developers during preparation and implementation phases of such new technology concepts; as well as perform security assessments and penetration testing on it.”

UL is currently working with a number of leading card issuers and HCE vendors to assist with developing their cloud-based mobile payment strategy and assessing the security of a variety of components within the ecosystem. 

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