and working with banks, governments and private issuing authorities to deliver payment and identity e-projects. This has given us valuable insight into the key considerations that should be acknowledged by issuers looking at launching near field communication (NFC) based products.
1. Scheme roll outs
Roll outs are different to pilots – scalability and security are key. Fifty phones and one app in a coffee shop is a good test of customer experience but mass deployment requires real management of people, applications and tokens.
It is possible to roll out a pilot, but only if you ensure the technology is capable to begin with. Be sure to integrate a platform that is flexible to your future requirements and long-term goals. Start simple and add applications, integrate additional partners and support more technologies over time.
2. Choose the right TSM
Not all TSMs are the same and different TSMs satisfy different needs:
- Root TSMs manage the secure element (SE) in the phone.
- Service provider (SP) TSMs (or service providers themselves) manage applications.
You may even wish to integrate over-the-air (OTA) application delivery and personalization, so that as an issuer you won’t need an SP TSM.
Your company will need to co-operate with other stakeholders in the NFC ecosystem. Vertical markets with different priorities and business models are converging. Banks, mobile network operators and SPs are speaking with each other for the first time, yet there is no historical model for them to work from, so the process takes time and compromise.
Your company will still issue an application but one of the other players may issue the token, device or phone. Furthermore, TSMs themselves will need to communicate. Due to the fact that an environment consisting of a single TSM is unlikely to occur, your SP TSM will need to connect to more than one Root TSM. Therefore, each root will be connected to multiple service providers or their TSMs.
4. Legacy systems
Integration with existing processes and systems is essential. You’ll need to manage multiple applications and their keys in addition to integrating the new infrastructure with your existing card management. There will also be other issues to think about, such as whether mobile applications will require different risk parameters to existing EMV payment cards, for example. Will a lost phone require the card to be blocked?
5. Keep your options open
Don’t get locked in to a single provider. You may need to support SIM, SD card and embedded SEs, support multiple SIMs from multiple vendors and want to personalize NFC and plastic chip cards with different SPs. Sourcing your TSM solution or services from an independent vendor is a good way to maintain your flexibility. Don’t restrict your options, the marketplace is evolving at a rapid pace. Additionally, ensure your solution adheres to the latest industry standards to contain your investment risk.
6. It’s a land grab – get involved!
Issuers will be able to attract new customers from partnerships with carriers/mobile network operators. Initially, there will be exclusive packages between specific partners and not everyone will have an NFC enabled device. Consumers will look for issuers, handset manufacturers and mobile network operators that can offer these solutions and bring their business with them. Gaining early market share is key to future success for service providers and issuers.
These are Bell ID’s considerations for those issuers starting to think about implementing a TSM solution. What are yours?