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HCE: A Game Changing Innovation in NFC-based Payments

Until recently, every NFC-based solution had to store the card details on the mobile device itself, whether it was within the SIM card or added to the device via an external memory card. HCE enables developers to add NFC-based mobile payment functionality to apps without using the phone’s hardware. Consequently, a number of businesses is now able to integrate NFC payments into their payment portfolio securely and with ease.

HCE is a much simpler and cheaper technology than SIM-based NFC. This approach eliminates revenue sharing with third parties, and the service is available to all customers, regardless of their telecom operators. Of course, all payment schemes are supported, so there is no doubt HCE will take over NFC customers.

Security is inherent to HCE, because no physical secure element is required. Storing the card data in the cloud provides virtual and exact representation of the customers’ smart card. Moreover, HCE is an entirely software-based solution – it eliminates reliance on third parties such as mobile network operators or even handset manufacturers as well as the need for a Trusted Service Manager. As involvement of multiple players still can be expensive and time consuming, so there’s clearly edge for HCE.

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We have adopted the new technology remarkably quickly, developing a platform for secure cloud-based mobile payments, and thus enhancing the existing Wave2Pay application dramatically. During the last year, two major proof-of-concept pilots were carried out. First one was carried out with VUB in Slovakia, and Visa Inspire card and PBZ Group in Croatia, where American Express cards are virtualized.

At the beginning of August 2014, PBZ Card in Croatia announced that it was becoming the first American Express card-issuing partner to test HCE on the American Express global network.

“American Express recognizes that consumers around the world are paying in new and different ways,” stated Mike Matan, Head of the Global Network Business for American Express.

With this move,we have joined the select few companies in the world, which are able to provide mobile payment using the most progressive, groundbreaking technological solution.

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