Technology has taken payment cards out of your wallet and into the cloud. One example of this is G+D Mobile Security’s Convego Hub, which combines the real and virtual worlds of payments.
G+D Mobile Security‘s Convego Hub integrates and consolidates payments via mobile devices, wearables and cards to manage credentials across all channels and support all payment technologies and brands. Host Card Emulation (HCE) allows payment credentials to be managed by a cloud service, and instead of needing hardware – known as a secure element – to be embedded in a payment device such as a mobile phone, payment cards can be downloaded from the cloud to HCE-supported mobile devices, secured by software on the phone. In essence, HCE enables the emulation of a payment card by an application running on a mobile device.
G+D Mobile Security has enabled HCE globally by partnering with banks around the world, including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ING, and China UnionPay. For the consumer this provides a similar payment experience on their mobile phones to that of contactless payment cards, except that a bank can use these interactive devices to introduce new complementing services such as electronic receipts and loyalty programmes.
One major benefit of HCE is that the same point-of-sale terminals can be used for physical card-based payments and the whole acquiring and payment authorization infrastructure stays untouched. HCE has been around for a few years now – Google introduced its mobile operating system, Android 4.4 KitKat, in October 2013. So is it secure to have software-based payment credentials managed in the cloud? The answer is yes; the whole infrastructure has been designed to have end-to-end security with many new security features and concepts.
These include the use of tokenization (replacing a real card number with a virtual card number); online-authorized payment transactions; mobile phone software being secured with technologies such as Whitebox Crypto; while TAK will soon complement to provide additional security for software implementations. In addition, HCE technology could be paired with secure elements or trusted execution environments. Over the last two years, customers in Germany (Deutsche Bank, German Savings Bank Association and Cooperative Financial Network), Austria (Erste Bank) and the Netherlands (ING, De Volksbank, and Rabobank) have deployed G+D technology to support HCE-based mobile payments.