For mobile network operators, the introduction reflects industry agreement on a very complex subject matter, says the secure element standards organisation. "For service providers and issuers it provides reassurances that an application will perform as intended regardless of the mobile device being used."
Secure element standards organization GlobalPlatform has expanded its compliance program to include the certification of UICCs, such as NFC SIMs, used to deliver mobile contactless services.
The new compliance service is designed to ensure that UICCs meet the requirements of GlobalPlatform's Card Specification v2.2 Amendment C.
"Amendment C provides the mobile contactless marketplace with a neutral platform that offers service providers the capability to directly interact with an end-user," Gil Bernabeu, GlobalPlatform's technical director, explains. "From a commercial perspective, for example, it is vital to have the functionality to display logos to support brand recognition and awareness while also guaranteeing the highest level of security.
"The extension of the GlobalPlatform UICC Compliance Program to incorporate Amendment C functionality is a significant advancement for the marketplace. For mobile network operators it reflects industry agreement on a very complex subject matter, while for service providers and issuers it provides reassurances that an application will perform as intended regardless of the mobile device being used."
"While we are all using smartphones to access more services, the delivery of secure mobile services such as payment not only brings more value but also more risk," Bernabeu adds. "The industry is working to contain the risks yet without compromising technology interoperability; consumers need to be able to use mobile services as and where they want. Creating an agreed and certifiable mobile contactless services framework for secure applications will be fundamental to achieving a sustainable infrastructure and mass market adoption."
GlobalPlatform qualified test tools which can be used to verify that a UICC product complies with requirements are now available from Barnes International, Fime, Galitt and Collis. An equivalent compliance program for embedded secure elements and NFC-enabled microSD cards is expected to be made available by GlobalPlatform in 2013.