MasterCard announced on Wednesday that it will use host card emulation—or HCE—to allow cardholders to use their cards on NFC-enabled mobile phones to make contactless payments.
HCE allows for the delivery of payments and other NFC services, such as loyalty programs, transit passes and building access passes, without the use of a secure element.
“Consumers are now shopping and paying in whatever way best fits their needs and lifestyles – and from every device they own,” James Anderson, the group head of emerging payments at MasterCard, said. “To meet their expectations for convenience, we need to accelerate the availability of services in the market. The use of HCE provides a very attractive way forward to launch an increased number of NFC-based offerings. We continue to set standards and deliver solutions to our partners and customers that deliver great experiences for safe and secure digital payments.”
The specification, which was developed over the past year in partnership with Capital One and Banco Sabadell, seeks to expand the availability of mobile contactless payments. MasterCard has completed two pilot tests with Capital One and Banco Sabadell that will determine additional deployments in 2014.
“For Capital One, the pilot was about exploring new ways to commercially deploy an NFC-based offering and securely store credentials,” Jack Forestell, the executive vice president of digital at Capital One, said. “We’ve enjoyed a longstanding partnership with MasterCard, and we continue to work together to deliver innovative solutions for our bank customers.”
Since 2012, MasterCard has seen a 180 percent increase in the number of merchants that have migrated to NFC-enabled technology. HCE is supported in the Android OS KitKat 4.4, which began shipping in November, and is continuously rolled out on popular smartphone devices.
“We were extremely pleased with the ease and speed in which pilot participants were able to add their payment cards to their NFC-enabled phones,” Albert Figueras, the manager of credit cards and consumer finance at Banco Sabadell, said. “As one of the most innovative banks in Europe today, it’s important that we continue to meet the needs of our consumers in our rapidly evolving digital society.”