Qualcomm to Integrate Trusted Execution Environment with NFC Technology

While not a replacement for the embedded chip or other secure elements in NFC phones, the trusted execution environment on ARM-based smartphone processors can complement security of NFC applications, noted U.S.-based Qualcomm.

Qualcomm, which is the largest supplier of smartphone processors worldwide, plans to promote integration of the trusted execution environment, or TEE, with its NFC technology, due on the market later this year. Qualcomm hopes to sell OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) on the combination of NFC and the TEE.

At a presentation in May at the NFC Solutions Summit in San Francisco, Qualcomm’s Neeraj Bhatia noted that the TEE could secure the user interface running on smartphones, including PIN entry connected with an EMV application on a secure element.

The TEE also could secure storage of sensitive data on the handset, safeguard access between the phone and applications on SIM cards or embedded chips and likely enable mobile POS products.

While none of these proposed uses for the TEE is new–and they have been proposed by the joint venture, Trustonic, formed last year between UK-based ARM Holdings and smart card companies Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient–Qualcomm is making it clear it wants to sell the integration between the TEE on its Snapdragon processor chips with its new NFC technology.

Qualcomm said it expects to have its standalone NFC chip, the QCA1990, in devices during the second half of this year.

“NFC, the way Qualcomm looks at it, is a platform play,” Bhatia said. “It requires complex system-level integration. The trusted execution environment has a very important role to play in the market. It enhances platform-level security, it has really strong intersection with all the verticals that NFC is focusing on, and it’s very complementary to hardware-based secure elements.”

The company will work with one or more of the embedded secure element providers now marketing chips for NFC phones, and NFC Times has learned it might commission its own operating system for embedded chips and hire its own trusted service manager. Qualcomm has denied this.

Processor Intel has hired its own TSM for the embedded chips in its reference designs for smartphones, though Intel has a very small share of the processor market for smartphones, unlike Qualcomm.

“At this time we have not announced any interest or plans for our own secure OS or TSM,” he told NFC Times. “However, as mentioned before, we are working with a number of leading eSE and TSM providers.”

Qualcomm already supports digital rights management applications on the trusted execution environment without NFC, such as DRM for Hollywood movies. Keys are stored on the TEE to secure the content.

 

HEADLINE NEWS

Lax Security Blamed for Hack of 7-Eleven’s Mobile Payments Service in Japan

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Japan’s popular 7-Eleven convenience store chain reported Thursday a major hack of its QR code-based mobile-payments app, but the breach appears to be due to poorly designed security protections in the app. 

In-Depth: More Nordic Banks Support Payments on Passive Wearables with Provisioning after Sale

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Two more large Nordic banks, Nordea and Swedbank, have launched contactless payments on analog watches, using technology from Swedish provisioning company Fidesmo that enables consumers to buy the watches and provision them with tokenized Mastercard-branded cards after the sale by tapping the watches on Android NFC phones.

Insight: Apple Pay’s Expansion to 13 New European Countries Won’t Add Much Transaction Volume but Follows Familiar Strategy

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple’s expansion this week into 13 new European countries may not look so good on paper, but it follows a divide-and-conquer strategy that Apple has used effectively before.

Visa Deepens Push into Tokenization with Planned Acquisition of Rambus Payments and Ticketing Unit

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Visa plans to buy the payments and ticketing unit of U.S.-based chip company Rambus for $75 million, as the payments network seeks to expand tokenization beyond Visa cards, including to bank accounts used for real-time payments, as well as to transactions processed by domestic networks.

With Contactless Payments Ready to Take Off in U.S., Payments Trade Group Concerned ‘Fragmented POS Experience’ Could Hinder Growth

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While contactless payments in the U.S. is “expected to accelerate in the near future,” merchants and issuers must improve the “POS experience” for consumers, the U.S. Payments Forum, a payments industry trade group, said today.

Melbourne Transit Agency Touts Successful Launch of Closed-Loop Payments with Google Pay; Plans to Add Support with Apple Pay

Jun 17 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Following a successful launch of its closed-loop Mifare-based transit payments service, myki, with Google Pay, Melbourne, Australia, transit authority Public Transport Victoria has allocated AU$1 million to expand the service onto other smartphone platforms, including iOS and the iPhone, an agency spokeswoman confirmed to NFC Times.

Analysis: BBVA’s ‘Global Payment Platform' Unlikely to Make Much Impact

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The recent announcement by large Spain-based banking group BBVA of plans to enable more banks across its footprint in Latin America to roll out the NFC-enabled BBVA Wallet as part of their banking apps could run into problems, given trends for low take-up of bank-issued NFC wallets. 

In North America, Many Cities Not Ready for Open-Loop Payments

May 31 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While open-loop transit payments services, such as one being launched this week by New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, get most of the attention, most public transit agencies and operators do not plan to accept credit and debit cards directly for payment of fares anytime soon.

Visa and Chase Seize on Launch of New York City Transit Payments Service to Try to Build ‘Momentum’ for Contactless

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Unlike in most developed countries in Europe and Asia, in the U.S., only a small percentage of the population regularly uses mass transit. But New York City is an exception, with more than 4 billion transit trips per year in the metropolitan area–seven times greater than in the next largest U.S. city in terms of transit use, Chicago.

As Their Resistance Crumbles, Australia’s Big Four Banks have Found that Opposing Apple Pay Too Costly, Despite Tech Giant’s Fees

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Another one of Australia’s big four banks, National Australia Bank, has given in to pressure from customers and has agreed to support Apple Pay.

In-Depth: Ticketmaster Embraces Digital Ticketing to Cut Fraud and Improve Communication with Ticket Purchasers and Fans

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – U.S.-based sports and entertainment ticketing vendor Ticketmaster sees its new digital-ticketing technology–supporting bar codes and NFC–as a way to reduce fraud and stay in touch with both ticket purchasers and event attendees.

Japanese Payments Players Expand Support for QR Code-Based Payments

May 20 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Japan’s mobile payments market is expanding, but the talk is not about NFC payments services, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay or the pioneering FeliCa wallet services originally pushed by NTT DoCoMo and rail operator JR East.