Visa, MasterCard Pump Life into NFC Mobile Payments

Feb. 20, 2014

Visa, MasterCard Pump Life into NFC Mobile Payments Back in November, when KitKat—the newest version of the Android operating system—was released, a feature called “ host card emulation ” (HCE) was included that would enable Google to leverage NFC for payments without requiring a handset with a secure element. It was widely seen as a workaround for Google Wallet, which was unable to access the secure elements of mobile subscribers other than its partner Sprint.

Yesterday, that workaround took a large step forward when Visa and MasterCard announced support for HCE enabling cloud-based payments via NFC on any Android device. With the card networks’ stamp of approval, banks, retailers or other companies can offer Android apps with mobile payment capability no matter what wireless carrier the phone is running on.

“Our clients and partners around the globe are continuously looking for flexible, cost efficient and secure ways to enable mobile payments,” said Elizabeth Buse, executive vice president of Global Solutions for Visa Inc. “The Android HCE feature provides us with a platform to evolve the Visa payWave standard, support the development of secure, cloud-based mobile applications, while at the same time offer greater choice to our clients.”