NFC HCE and Payment Trends

On April 17th, David Marcus, President at PayPal said, “I’ve been looking at three technologies that might truly change the retail experience as we know it.”

One of the technologies David is looking at is NFC HCE (Host Card Emulation). It is an alternative way of using SE (Secure Element) to implement security mechanisms for NFC technology. In my previous blog, I explained why Google has chosen HCE. David Marcus said, “I’m moving from being a massive skeptic of NFC, to being cautiously optimistic on NFC HCE take-up in very specific shopping use cases.”

He envisions two scenarios that would popularize NFC. One is the credit card EMV movement, which would lead to more NFC-enabled terminals at points of sale, and the other is Visa embracing the HCE approach.

I understand David’s point coming from the payment industry leader he is. At the same time, I believe that NFC will take off regardless of payment trends. From my personal experience advocating NFC to business owners, the technology is received with excitement. Entrepreneurs are inspired by the possibilities presented through the integration of NFC tags and chips for enhancing and marketing their products and services. They also wonder why they haven’t heard about the technology sooner.

AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon spent a huge amount of money on ISIS mobile payment implementation based on NFC, yet they are not promoting the technology proactively or effectively. Not many subscribers know about NFC or ISIS.  What is the missing link?

 

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ISIS Mobile Wallet experience with an NFC enabled phone

This is a follow up blog about my exploration on the use of the ISIS Mobile Wallet. I needed to return my iPhone ISIS case to the AT&T store since it didn’t work well. I decided to continue my hands on ISIS experience and picked up an Android phone.  I chose the HTC One.

Here is what I have performed:

  1. Download the ISIS mobile app:

I downloaded the ISIS mobile app from Google Play Store and attempted to sign on to the ISIS mobile wallet. I had forgotten both my password and the answer to my security question. My ISIS account was locked after a few attempts to sign in. With such a security mechanism in place, I felt more comfortable as a mobile wallet user. I called AT&T customer support and they reset the ISIS password for me in a very efficient manner.

  1. Set up of the ISIS Mobile Wallet:

To my surprise, my ISIS wallet was empty and I was asked to add all cards into it.

This is the message I received:

“This is an important service alert from Isis.

Your Isis Mobile Wallet was transferred to a new phone. Any existing installations of your Isis Mobile Wallet will be disabled while you complete the reinstallation process on your new phone.

As part of this process, you may be required to re-activate Payment Cards by your issuers.”

OK, I get it. When I bought a new wallet, I would need to move all of my cards to my new wallet. Since this is a digital world, I expect more from my digital wallet. A better experience would have been for all the cards associated with my wallet being moved to a new phone automatically. Are these cards not associated with my ISIS wallet in the data base? Why do I have to key in all of the information again?

I was also notified that my iPhone wallet was not available. It seems that ISIS only allows one active wallet and each time the wallet needs to be re-associated with all of the cards.

  1. Get Jamba Juice:

The experience at the Jamba Juice store was good. This is the store that was having trouble receiving ISIS wallet from the iPhone case. It received ISIS from HTC One instantly. I am happy about the experience.

  1. Read NFC tag:

I used the HTC One to scan an NFC tag on my book and it didn’t ask for my permission; “do you want to accept the NFC connection?” as my Galaxy III did. Instead, it scanned the URL in the NFC tag and went to my author’s page at Amazon. It’s good to see the read/write mode working and it’s not good to see that there is no security provided. In this case, when my phone is approaching any NFC tag, it will read it and put the phone in danger of a virus attack.

Overall, it’s a better experience to use an NFC enabled phone to perform ISIS Mobile Wallet activities than using an NFC embedded iPhone case. Stay tuned for more exploration.

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