Tyfone to launch ‘SideTap’ MicroSD Cards


Tyfone has announced that its ‘SideTap’ MicroSD memory card versions will be available via partners in Q2 2010. According to Tyfone, these MicroSD memory cards with Tyfone’s SideTap contactless payment technology can be used by “hundreds of millions of mobile phones at thousands of existing contactless payment terminals worldwide.

Tyfone’s enabling patent portfolio includes US patent 7,581,678 filed February 22, 2005 for ‘Electronic Transaction Cards, issued September 1, 2009, and other patents pending.

The SideTap memory card technology is a fully integrate NFC contactless card payment with a popular and commonly used mobile phone accessory, a MicroSD memory card. SideTap memory cards enable MIFARE as well as any Global Platform compliant payment applet. The card contains an onboard controller that manages over-the-air (OTA) capabilities allowing consumers to add multiple payment and identification options, creating a true mobile wallet.

‘Unlike solutions tied to specific retailers or financial institutions, the SideTap memory card works like an actual wallet that contains financial information from multiple sources, either specific retailers or financial institutions in both open loop and closed loop scenarios,’ explains Tom Spitzer, CEO, Tyfone. ‘We are very excited to be launching the SideTap MicroSD card. It’s a significant milestone for the company and for the industry.’

In addition to the memory card, a SideTap lite MicroSD card with OTA wallet functions but no storage memory is available for partners. A SideTap ultralite MicroSD card is also available without storage memory or OTA wallet capabilities, for a single-payment provider scenario, much like a contactless plastic card or sticker from a single issuer.

One of the most often cited obstacles for NFC payment models is the lack of availability of NFC-enabled handsets. According to a September 2009 forecast by Strategy Analytics approximately 900+ million phones will be enabled with memory card slots by 2013. Many handset manufacturers already report that memory cards are the most purchased accessory for mobile phones today.

‘To address a marketplace that today has hundreds of millions of mobile phones that can use MicroSD cards, it was important to ensure the ability to scale,’ says Prabhakar Tadepalli, MD, Tyfone. ‘SideTap memory cards can work across all mobile operating systems and all wireless operators. We have also built it to scale quickly and have a team ready to assist our partners in that effort.’

Tyfone’s memory cards have undergone extensive and successful trials with multiple partners over the last 18 months. In the coming months, consumers will be able to purchase SideTap MicroSD memory cards and use them at major retailers. Tyfone will soon announce partnerships that will make the first wave of this important payment technology available for consumers, financial institutions and retailers.