First Data roll-out MicroSD based NFC payments


First Data has announced an agreement with Tyfone. The collaboration aims to provide SideTap micro secure digital (MicroSD) memory cards (MPW 144) equipped with Tyfone’s patented technologies that will transform most mobile phones with a memory slot into a mobile contactless payment device.

Unlike solutions that are tied to specific merchants or financial institutions, the MicroSD card powered by Tyfone technology lets the card work like an actual mobile ‘wallet’. The card can contain financial information and secure identification from multiple sources, such as specific retailers or financial institutions in both open loop and closed loop scenarios.

SideTap card’s onboard controller that manages over-the-air (OTA) access in conjunction with the u4ia (pronounced euphoria) mobility platform is fully expandable, allowing consumers to add new payment and identity options, creating a true mobile wallet that is as flexible as the card provider would like it to be. Through this agreement, First Data will provide merchants and financial institutions with Tyfone’s patented SideTap secure memory card and u4ia mobility platform for OTA life cycle management.

‘The move to contactless payments is gaining traction and First Data continues to play a pivotal role in the development of this evolving technology. Consumers have a strong preference for such technology and merchants are using contactless payments to reduce waiting times, increase customer loyalty, and boost sales,’ says Dom Morea, division manager, mobile commerce solutions, First Data. ‘First Data chose SideTap because it best serves the needs of consumers who want to use contactless payment options with over the air access but still want to retain the memory card functionality of their MicroSD card.’

Over the next two to three years, analysis forecasts contactless payment transactions via the MicroSD card will be used by more than 20 million people in North America alone, at thousands of contactless payment terminals already in place. According to a September 2009 forecast by Juniper Research NFC contactless payment global gross transaction value is expected to exceed $30 billion by 2012.

‘With over 60% of the mobile phones being sold today with memory slots, memory cards are widely used in the mobile eco-system, making it an ideal form factor for issuers to add contactless payment. However, consumers are unlikely to swap between memory card for payment and storage in their phones,’ explains Dr. Siva Narendra, CTO, Tyfone.

‘So our SideTap cards integrate storage and contactless payments in the same memory card to enhance consume’s experience. Mobile phone users are familiar with memory cards, many of which are bought directly from their mobile network operators.’