Thales crypto support for mobile payment issuers

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Thales says it has ‘the world’s first software for Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) that enables mobile payment issuers to deliver their mobile payment applications to mobile handsets Over-The-Air (OTA)’.

According to Juniper Research mobile payments for digital and physical goods, money transfers and NFC transactions will reach almost $630 billion by 2014. The many recent announcements by handset manufacturers and MNO’s on the support for NFC on phones suggest 2011 could be the year when phones capable of mobile payments will become widely available.

Today’s mobile payments issuers have to use multiple core cryptographic function calls to build the data needed to issue a payment application and to create the secure messages required to personalize the mobile phone with the application Over-The-Air (OTA). This approach can be lengthy, inefficient, and less secure as it can potentially expose sensitive data.

Thales HSMs now provide for the first time the ability to create a secure message to personalize a payment application hosted in a GlobalPlatform Secure Element, resident in a mobile phone. A single HSM call now provides the dedicated cryptographic functions required by a mobile payment issuer. The new card and phone personalization software is based on the industry standard specifications for secure messaging developed and published by GlobalPlatform.

‘GlobalPlatform is the international organization which standardizes the management of applications on secure chip technology, and has become the foundation for managing and personalizing payment applications on mobile phones,’ says Kevin Gillick, executive director of GlobalPlatform.’ Thales’s implementation of GlobalPlatform’s specifications greatly simplifies the process required by mobile issuers to securely load mobile payment applications onto mobile devices.”

‘With the widespread adoption of smartphones consumers are increasingly looking for the freedom to make purchases from their mobile handsets,’ continues Franck Greverie, Thales vice president in charge of information technology security activities. ‘Thales is the largest supplier of payment HSMs, and our new dedicated cryptographic functions for mobile payment issuers have come at exactly the right time, enabling card personalisation providers, including Trusted Service Managers (TSMs), to simplify the secure implementation of payment applications and take advantage of the huge growth in mobile-based payments that is being widely predicted.’