Bell ID launches NFC secure element in the cloud platform

The new service enables keys, certificates and NFC credentials to be stored securely in a remote location, rather than in the mobile device, is fully compatible with standard EMV contactless payments terminals and enables card issuers to deploy NFC solutions without the need to partner with mobile network operators or other third parties.

Bell ID
SUNNY OUTLOOK: Bell’s cloud-based solution promises secure NFC without having to negotiate with physical secure element gatekeepers

Bell ID has launched Secure Element in the Cloud, a new platform that enables card issuers to store keys, certificates and NFC credentials in a secure remote environment rather than in their customers’ mobile device.

The solution provides application issuers “with the independence and control to manage their credentials without the need for third party involvement,” says Bell ID.

The platform is commercially available today and has already been deployed “at a leading bank in one of the most advanced contactless payment regions in the world.”

When a consumer makes a transaction using Bell ID’s solution, their NFC credential is accessed from a remote secure element, located in the cloud. This then generates the appropriate command for the transaction and sends it back through the mobile device to the merchant’s point-of-sale terminal.

“The data is presented in the same format as that used in standard card-present transactions,” says Bell ID. The solution works with both standard contactless terminals and acceptance infrastructures.

The secure element in the cloud platform can also be used to pre-authorise payments, allowing consumers to make transactions even when a connection to the server cannot be established.

The direct access offered by the new software to the SE also supports instant fraud detection and allows immediate blocking of an application when necessary, the company adds. “Additionally, having the SE in the cloud increases computing power and storage in comparison to a physical SE. This provides more options regarding advanced on-device risk management, as well as the ability to support virtually any number of NFC services.”

SE IN THE CLOUD: How it compares with physical secure elements. Click to enlarge.
SE IN THE CLOUD: How it compares with physical secure elements. Click to enlarge.

“By moving the SE from a physical device to a remote environment, application issuers are able to directly provision their applications to an SE,” explains David Orme, CEO of Bell ID. “This enables them to take full control of their relationship with the customer and ensure a consistent brand and user experience across all available channels and services.”

“With our Secure Element in the Cloud software, we offer an easy, affordable and flexible alternative to the complex deployment models used in today’s NFC marketplace,” adds Pat Curran, executive chairman at Bell ID. “This makes mobile NFC services accessible to a much wider audience, including banks, service providers, mobile network operators, payment processors and card personalisation bureaus. We believe this is the next breakthrough in the adoption of mobile NFC services, which is already proven by the high demand for this solution from our customer base.”