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Today, I am attending the NFC Solutions Summit 2013 at San Francisco. This event is being presented by the Smart Card Alliance and NFC Forum to cover the state of Near Field Communication(NFC) technology, an RFID based short range (up to 4cm) wireless connectivity.

Some of the intriguing discussions were as follows:

Brad Greene from Visa described the following four elements that could help NFC taking off
• Global standards: need to align with the existing card terminal technology and EMV/ISO standards with security reliability and interoperability.
• Handsets: need have NFC capability; actually 9 out of 10 OEMs have integrated NFC capability into their devices.
• Merchant acceptances: 86% of POS terminals in North American are estimated to accept NFC payments by 2017
• Secure provision account information to mobile devices: current problem lies on the complexity of the payment infrastructure. VISA offers Visa Mobile Provisioning Solutions (VMPS) to address the problem. It uses a hub model to enable multiple hubs and device OEMs to participate the ecosystem. VISA is working with carriers to access the secure element in the SIM card.

I concur with him. At the same time I think that driving the adoption by the consumer is also a key element. The whole ecosystem could put effort into educating mobile consumers.

Security was the focus in a few sessions. Secure element (SE) is used for NFC secure mode applications. SE can be embedded in the SIM card, SD card or wearable device.
Security questions raised were as follows:
• What is a good business model? Should the secure element be stored per device or per consumer?
• Who should be in control of the secure element? Who has the liability?
• How to mitigate security without compromising risk?
• Is the combination between Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) and SE a good solution?
• Could aweb borrowed trust scenario be leveraged into the NFC world?
• How will the authentication paradigm change in order to meet the consumers’ expectation?

SebastianTaveau from Validity suggested that mobile ID, biometrics and NFC are a natural fit. He described how to use various natural IDs in different NFC use cases. For example, in risk modeling, ”where you are” can be derived from “what device you have” and “what you know” can be derived from “who you are”.

Both Wholefood and Jamba Juice are early adopters of the technology. They are looking into ways to use NFC that will enhance the consumer experience, drive brand value and loyalty. Currently more than 50% of Jamba Juice web traffic is from mobile. Addressing the mobile need with NFC technology seems to be a trend.

Overall, it’s a good conference; good learning and networking. I am Looking forward to tomorrow’s sessions.

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