Agile Apple Pay – P2P Is Coming

Before Agile methodology surfaced, waterfall methodology was used for software development; after requirements were collected, the software was designed, developed, tested, deployed and maintained. This process could take a long time if the project had a large scope. Sometimes, the product might not be delivered on time or delivered but did not meet the needs of the customer.

An example would be the Softcard mobile wallet (formally named ISIS); a joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon with billions in investments. Since its launch in November 2013, consumers didn’t adapt the product. It was finally shutdown in 2015 after Google purchased some of its IP. The technology (Near Field Communication) has great potential; yet, most of the consumers didn’t even know their mobile phones were NFC enabled.

Agile, a very different approach, works at a sustainable pace to develop minimal software with minimal functionality and a shorter development cycle. With shared responsibilities between the product owner, scrum master and development team, each development cycle delivers a work release.

Using mobile payment as an example, I think Apple Pay was implemented with an Agile approach. When the whole NFC world was waiting for an NFC wallet to be delivered on iPhone 5s and 5c (released in 2013) and it didn’t happen. Instead, iPhone 5s enabled Touch ID; a fingerprint authentication mechanism. Not until the iPhone 6 release in 2014, NFC payment came through with Apple Pay using Touch ID to provide a “single touch to pay” user experience. This year, Apple Watch enables Apple Pay for iPhone 5, 5s and 5c.

It might not be fair to compare Softcard and Apple Pay development since Apple owns its devices and can pace their software/hardware features/functionalities in a more integrated approach while Telecoms didn’t have this ability.

Now, what is next for Apple Pay? Apple was just granted a patent for peer to peer (p2p) mobile payment today. The Patent states that NFC and Bluetooth can be used for one device sending a payment to another device securely and at no cost.  This is another effort to enable quick communication between devices in order to move into the world of IoT (Internet of Things).

So shall we conclude that Apple Pay is an Agile product? Love to hear your thoughts.

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NFC, Big Data, Internet of Things and a Connected Society

Sensors are powerful enablers for Internet of Things.

GE uses data collected by sensors to help in the reduction of millions in fuel costs [1]. Transport for London uses data collected by sensors to understand how people travel and respond quickly when a disruption occurs [2]. The healthcare industry uses data collected by sensors to monitor the activity of patients and provide better patient care [3].

All of these sensor data feed into BigData. Business intelligence (BI) that emerges from sensor data analysis (SDA) helps create new products and services as well as to enhance the existing ones.

Using GE as an example, last year The New York Times notedThomas Edison would be proud. General Electric, the company he started, still knows how to make a buck off cutting-edge technology.” Predix, an IoT (Internet of Things) big data product was implemented entirely with sensor equipped GE machines. Every day Predix gathers 50 million pieces of data from 10 million sensors; including those hooked up to jet engines.

Using Transport for London (TfL) as an example, not only is data collected through NFC enabled Oyster cards but also from sensors attached to vehicles and traffic signals. TfL provides open APIs to software developers to access the data in order to create new services and products. That is an open and forward looking approach since community effort always generates a win-win for consumers and businesses.

In the case of health care, sensors can be embedded in the hospital beds, medical devices or wearable. There are so many use cases to show the power of connected devices. For example, a monitor system that learns normal patient physiological and activity patterns would send an alert when abnormal data (change in blood sugar, for example) appears.

When all of these connected devices are talking to each other through a wireless infrastructure or the internet, we are in a world of Internet of Things. Products and services that collect, store and analyze data are just beginning of a transformation enabled by technologies like sensors, cloud and mobility. BI and business decisions are the focus right now. At the same time, new business opportunities are unlimited. How to seize the opportunity requires visionary ideas and technology agility [4]. The end result would be a Connected Society [5]; where people are more connected to each other and to their environment.

It’s an exciting time! What is one challenge you are facing?

[1] Enterprise Big Data (Data Lake) https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140815010520-12418284-enterprises-big-data-data-lake?trk=mp-reader-card&trk=mp-reader-card

[2] How Big Data and the Internet of Things Improve Public Transport in London http://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2015/05/27/how-big-data-and-the-internet-of-things-improve-public-transport-in-london/

[3] Sensor Data Analytics – Unlocking Value in ‘Big Data’ http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1326715

[4] State Technology Welcome Idea Economy https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/state-technology-welcome-idea-economy-meg-whitman?trk=prof-post

[5] Beyond an Internet of Things: Building the Connected Society http://www.boozallen.com/insights/2015/05/beyond-an-internet-of-things/thank-you

Three Reasons You Don’t Want an Apple Watch

After a long anticipated wait and a two week pre-order launch, Apple Watch was finally released on April 29th. I walked into an Apple store yesterday and was excited to see all of the Apply Watches on display.  They were beautiful! See all models here.

After trying on a basic Apple Watch Sport, I was told that there were no watches available for purchase in store. Ordering an Apple Watch Sport ($349) might take weeks.

The most interesting feature to me was Apple Pay, powered by NFC (Near Field Communication). A rep was nice enough to show me the steps to set it up:

  • Enable Bluetooth setting on my iPhone6.
  • Click on the Apple Watch app icon on my iPhone6 and see the pairing screen as the picture shown below.
  • Click on “Start Pairing” box.
  • Hold Apple Watch up to the Camera and align it with the viewfinder as the picture shown below.
  • When pairing is complete, you can use Apple Watch to perform Apple Pay.
  • You have to have your iPhone with you.

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There are three reasons you don’t want an Apple Watch

1. You have a Windows phone or an Android phone. Since Apple Watch only pairs with an iPhone, you can’t use your phone with it.

2. You have an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s.  Since Apple Watch only pairs with iPhone 6/6+/5/5c/5s, your iPhone is too old.

3. You only want a watch. Without carrying your iPhone, your Apple Watch won’t work.

It’s a bit odd to me to invent a wearable that depends on the existence of your mobile phone. However, when pairing with Apple Watch, iPhones 5/5c/5s obtain Apple Pay functionality. This significant feature has not been discussed much. NFC chips are embedded in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+, enabling in-app Apple Pay functionality in those phones, a feature not available on previously released models.  If Apple Watch starts to be adopted, the addition of NFC functionality into iPhone 5/5c/5s would help mobile payment (Apple Pay) taking off.

If you wear a watch and carry an iPhone now, you might really like the convenience that Apple Watch provides; such as receiving messages/calls, checking maps and mobile payment, etc. If you are like me, always pulling out my iPhone to check the time, Apple Watch could make a great Mother’s day gift… even if it does come a bit belated.

About the Author:

Hsuan-hua Chang has over 20 years of experience in wireless technology, holding many corporate positions ranging from software engineer, technical architect to product marketing manager. She is the author of “Everyday NFC Second Edition: Near Field Communication Explained”

NFC Mobile Payment Trend

After ApplePay’s deployment in October 2015, NFC mobile payment adoption is taking off in the USA. I am curious about how people perceive this technology (NFC) and its application (ApplePay & mobile payment). Therefore I did a Google Trends comparison between Mobile Payment, NFC and ApplePay today. To my surprise, the trend indicates there has been an increase in people searching NFC comparing to searching “mobile payment” and “ApplePay” (see attachment below).

Asia seems to be the continent that is more into the technology. The interested regions are as follows:

Google Wallet, the first NFC mobile payment app, was released in 2012. There is no surprised that such an innovation came from a company that embraces creativity. Shortly after, to Google’s surprise, the telecoms, who were developing their own NFC-based mobile payment app, blocked Google Wallet. This challenge forced Google to look into an alternative way to implement NFC mobile payment. Thus, the HCE (Host Card Emulation) approach was created in order to bypass telecom’s control on Secure Element.

Softcard (formally, ISIS), a joint venture between AT&T, Verizon and TMobile started a trial in late 2013 and was launched in 2014. To promote and educate people on the NFC mobile payment technology, one million complimentary Jamba Juices were given away to Softcard users. Despite these efforts, the adoption rate of Softcard was not good enough to sustain the business; especially facing competition with ApplePay and its trademark simple user experience.

Last month, Softcard was bought by Google. I wonder what the agreement is between Google and telecoms? Will this be another walled garden business model? Is the NFC mobile payment market a war between Apple and Google now?

It’s interesting to watch the evolution of these NFC applications; especially in the mobile payment market. Various challenges continue to stimulate more innovations. After all, a vision has to be either supported by a market demand or inspiring enough to create a new market entirely.

About the Author:

Hsuan-hua Chang has over 20 years of experience in wireless technology, holding many corporate positions ranging from software engineer, technical architect to product marketing manager. She is the author of “Everyday NFC Second Edition: Near Field Communication Explained”

NFC Mobile Payment options: HCE vs SE

When Google made Hosted Card Emulation (HCE) available for its mobile payment in order to bypass telecoms’ control, the debate of HCE and Secure Element (SE) continues.

A webinar “Evaluating NFC security strategies: The role of the secure element in the evolving landscape” was hosted by NFC World on January 20, 2015.

A few highlights of the webinar is as follows:

  • The NFC adoption rate is increasing rapidly based on the stats of NFC SIM shipped; 16M shipped in 2011, 30M in 2012, and 72M in 2013.
  • Geographic stats show the demand in different regions. In 2013, 37M was shipped to Japan/Korea, 24M to North America and 14M to Europe.
  • The pros and cons analysis of HCE and SE technology.
  • A SIMalliance recommended deployment model based on security and market reach, application and technology requirements.
  • A case study on Canada’s success as the #1 mobile payment country in the world. Some stats are as follows: All of Canada’s major MNOs now offer SE based NFC payment capability to their customer; 2/3 of the phones are Android and BlackBerry; 5 of Canada’s “Big Six” Financial Institutions do the same; over 84% major retail merchants have contactless EMV terminals

SIMalliance anticipates a future where SE and HCE will continue to co-exist and in many cases converge. This will be the basis of an optimally efficient and secure NFC ecosystem.

To watch the free seminar, click the link.

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Using Apple Pay the First Time

On 10/20/2014, Apple Pay, Apple’s mobile wallet,  became available on iPhone 6 and 6+. I couldn’t wait to give it a try.

To use Apple Pay, iPhone consumer needs to do two things:

  • Add a credit card / debit card into the Passbook
  • Download iOS 8.1

Apple Pay is integrated into the Passbook through iOS 8.1; there is no need to download an app. When you add your card to Passbook, a unique Device Account Number (DAN) is assigned to it. DAN is encrypted and stored in the Secure Element (SE), a dedicated chip in iPhone. DAN is used in payment process instead of your actual card number.

When you are ready to use Apple Pay:

  1. Place your finger on Touch ID

  2. Point your iPhone6 at the contactless reader

NFC (Near Field Communication) enables this contactless payment. The Device Account Number, along with a transaction-specific dynamic security code, is used to process the payment. Your actual card number is not shared by Apple with merchants or transmitted during the payment. Apple doesn’t store any of the details of the transaction. This security protects the consumer.

The steps I took to use Apple Pay were as follows:

  • Downloaded iOS 8.1 by going to Settings, General, Software Update.

  • Configured my iPhone 6 as instructed after downloading was completed.

  • Clicked on the Passbook app.

  • Clicked on the + sign on the top right corner to add my business VISA from Alaska Airlines.

  • Used camera to read my card and typed in Expiration data & security code. iPhone 6 showed “Verifying Card” a few seconds and returned “Your Issuer Doesn’t Not Yet Offer Support for This Card”.

  • Added my America Express Card successfully and saw the recent purchase history at Costco since September. That surprised me.

  • Added my personal VISA from Alaska Airlines successfully.

  • Went to Wholefoods and used Apple Pay for my purchase. Since Touch ID had trouble reading my fingerprint; the passcode screen was displayed that enabled me to enter my passcode.

  • Apparently VISA from Alaska Airlines is my default card. The purchase history at Wholefoods is accessible from the phone (see attached picture) and Bank of America also sent me notification of the purchase.

  • Removed my America Express from the Passbook and was sent a notification that read: “Your Default Card Has Been Changed to “BofA Visa Credit”. That is a minor bug since BofA Visa was my default card, wasn’t it?

In general, Apple Pay is easy to use. I think NFC will be promoted through Apple Pay’s good user experience and tapping will become a habit soon. Job well done! Apple.


How to Use Your Mobile Wallet

Last week, two of my friends asked me “What is Mobile Wallet?”. I realized that I need to put aside my excitement over NFC-enabled iPhone6 and just explain the basics in plain English.

A mobile wallet enables you to use your mobile phone for making payments while shopping. Your credit card information is entered and saved in your mobile phone. To simplify the story, I will only focus on two NFC Mobile Wallets: Softcard and Apple Pay.

A mobile wallet is composed of a few components: a mobile application (app), payment options (credit cards), an authentication method for user identification, and an option for wireless transmission.

  • Mobile app: You can download Softcard (formally ISIS Mobile Wallet) from the Google Play Store if you have an NFC-enabled Android phone. If you have an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus or iWatch, you can download Apple Pay app from the Apple Store on October 20th, 2014.
  • Payment options: The mobile app allows you add credit card information into a mobile wallet.
  • Authentication: Softcard requires you to enter a 4-digit pin upon payment. Apple Pay uses Touch ID, a finger print identity sensor.
  • Wireless Transmission: NFC (Near Field Communication) is used for both Softcard and Apple Pay. Any NFC-enabled phones such as most of the Android phones and the iPhone 6, can tap an NFC-enabled reader to activate wireless communication between a mobile phone and a cash register that is NFC-enabled.

To Use Softcard (formally ISIS) Mobile Wallet on an Android Phone

  1. Make sure that the NFC functionality is enabled on the device.
  2. Ensure your device is equipped with the required Enhanced NFC SIM card with Secure Element.
  3. Download Softcard Mobile Wallet app from Google Play Store.
  4. Set up an access PIN.
  5. Add the method of payment.
  6. Use the NFC device to pay your bill at stores that have NFC readers.
  • Open the Softcard Mobile Wallet app and enter your PIN.
  • Select a payment card to use.
  • Hold the back of your phone over the contactless symbol on the terminal at checkout.

To Use Apple Pay Mobile Wallet on an iPhone6

  1. If you don’t have Passbook setup, add the credit or debit card from your iTunes account to Passbook by simply entering the card security code.
  2. Add a new card, use your iSight camera to instantly capture your card information or simply type it in manually.
  3. The first card you add automatically becomes your default card.
  4. Download iOS 8.1
  5. Use iPhone to pay your bill at stores that have NFC readers

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With NFC mobile wallet, you don’t need to carry your credit cards around anymore. It is a safer approach since every transaction has a unique transaction ID and it’s authenticated. Apple Pay seems providing a simpler user experience based on Apple’s website. “One touch to pay with Touch ID. Now paying in stores happens in one natural motion — there’s no need to open an app or even wake your display thanks to the innovative Near Field Communication antenna in iPhone 6. To pay, just hold your iPhone near the contactless reader with your finger on Touch ID. You don’t even have to look at the screen to know your payment information was successfully sent. A subtle vibration and beep lets you know.”

Another note about iPhone6 and iPhone6+, they are really more of an NFC-enabled mobile payment device rather than an NFC-enabled device. All other NFC functionalities besides Apple Pay, have been disabled by Apple.

See more details in my newly released book “Everyday NFC Second Edition”. http://amzn.to/O76fQY

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NFC Enabled Apple Pay

September 9th was an exciting day for NFC enthusiasts and evangelists. Apple announced that iPhone6 would offer Apple Pay, a mobile payment functionality based on NFC (Near Field Communication). The NFC community praised the announcement with relief, “It’s about time.”

The NFC community had hoped that Apple would have adopted NFC for iPhone 5s/5c in 2013. Apple endorsed BLE(Bluetooth Low Energy) instead while continuing to obtain NFC patents. Without Apple’s adoption, NFC has been moving slowly due to the lack of consumer technology awareness. Apple has influenced consumer behavior with an appealing experience and an innovative implementation.  I expect that Apple Pay would help consumers to become familiar with NFC.

Before the announcement, on September 8th, the NFC community had the following questions:

  • Will iPhone6 be NFC-enabled? If it is, what NFC mode will be offered for public use?
  • What type of mobile payment model will be deployed?
  • Will an app development framework be offered?
  • What will be the user experience?

Now, a day after the excitement, the NFC community has more questions:

  • Is iPhone6 capable of reading NFC tags?
  • Can the Softcard (formally ISIS) mobile wallet be used with the iPhone6? What’s the impact to the Softcard?
  • Will the NFC feature be configured on/off in the Setting? What is the default setting?
  • What is the Apple Pay infrastructure?

What are other questions/thoughts in you mind?

ONETOUCHSource: Apple.com

ISIS Mobile Wallet / Google Wallet / iPhone Mobile Payment

Yesterday when I was checking out at the Wholefood Market, I was delightfully surprised by their new NFC-enabled reader. At the top of the screen, it said “Swipe/Tap Your Card/Phone”. According to the excited cashier, I was the first one using my phone to pay.

ISIS Mobile Wallet has been available since November 2013. Jamba Juice was chosen as the main promotion partner; a free drink for payment made with ISIS. Jamba Juice was committed to give away one million drinks. For a while, I was having Jamba Juice every day. What a treat!

James D. White, chairman, president and CEO of Jamba Inc., in a company press release, said “Facilitating 1 million transactions through the mobile wallet over the last seven months confirms that the era mobile commerce has arrived. I am proud that Jamba has been able to serve as a leader in the space”.

I appreciate their leadership for this emerging technology.

There are many discussions about Apple’s potential mobile payment and the possibility of an NFC-enabled iPhone 6. I think it might be helpful to describe two approaches to implement an NFC mobile payment. If you want more technical information, please check out the details in this Android page.

I. SIM based Secure Element (SE):

In order to be able to use ISIS mobile payment, you need to get an ISIS SIM card from your service provider. The SIM card includes a Secure Element (SE) that contains your credentials.

When an NFC Reader is tapped by an NFC device, the NFC Controller routes traffic to the SE for authentication.

This approach is very secure because it is difficult to hack the SIM card.

II. Hosted Card Emulation (HCE):

When you use Google Wallet, you don’t need a specific mobile payment SIM. Google wallet uses HCE.

The NFC card is emulated using HCE. When an NFC Reader is tapped by a device, the data is routed to the host CPU. This approach uses the credentials that are stored in a remote server for authentication.

HCE is considered to be a threat to the SIM-based SE and is adopted in various NFC secure applications.

Now the questions is “When iPhone adopts NFC, which mobile payment approach will it choose?

Source of pictures: developer.andriod.comhttps://developer.android.com/guide/topics/connectivity/nfc/hce.html

Using a Smartphone to Replace Passwords

Yesterday (7/14/2014), the WSJ posted an article “The Password Is Finally Dying, Here’s Mine”. Mr. Christopher Mims revealed his twitter account’s password to his readers to make the point of “password is dying”. He wrote “Google is working on an as yet unnamed protocol that allows you to connect to your online accounts on any device by authenticating yourself with your smartphone.” He explained that using the device-based authentication was more secure than using a password.

Using a Smartphone for digital authentication is also a mechanism that is built into mobile wallet; for example ISIS Wallet uses Near Field Communication (NFC) SIM-based solution and Google wallet uses NFC Hosted Card Emulation (HCE) solution. So whatever Google is working on probably is also an NFC based solution.

In June, AT&T introduced NFC Connect that enables customers to use digital credentials on their mobile device. The system is being piloted at Tulane University in New Orleans and Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. Students use Samsung Galaxy S III, an Android smartphone and an NFC SIM to access buildings, meal purchases, laundry, copying and printing. This system requires a Trusted System Manager (TSM) to provision a user’s digital credential into SIM Secure Element (SE) over the air when one signed up the service.

It is likely that Google’s digital credential solution is not a SIM-based solution based on its development of Google Wallet. The cost for users could be lower since a provisioning TSM is not required. That’s my speculation.

In another note, in the AWS Summit NY last week (7/10/2014), Amazon announced Amazon Cognito, one of the new Amazon Mobile Services, as a fully managed user identity and data synchronization service. The goal of the service is to help users securely manage and synchronize app data across their mobile devices. It looks like the Mobile market is Amazon’s next move.

It will be interesting to watch the development of digital authentication with smart devices. What is your thought on this topic?