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21 May 2013

GSMA Proposes Global Standard for NFC-Enabled Loyalty and Couponing–Using SIM Cards

The GSMA mobile operator trade group is proposing a global standard for how point-of-sale terminals talk to NFC-enabled mobile wallets to enable consumers to redeem coupons and rewards.

The proposal calls for point-of-sale terminal makers to adopt technical specifications to communicate with couponing and loyalty applications in the wallets, and enable redemption of the value-added services, possibly at the same time as the consumer makes a payment, with a single tap or two taps.

The association proposes the communication between the NFC phone and POS terminal use NFC’s card-emulation mode, which usually requires an application to be stored on a secure element in the phone, even though these types of applications don’t usually require the level of security that secure elements provide. But most contactless POS terminals only support card emulation, and NFC-based payment is now conducted in card-emulation mode.  

Perhaps not surprisingly, the GSMA proposes that the couponing and loyalty application be stored on NFC UICCs or SIM cards that member mobile operators would issue. That’s in addition to mobile wallet apps that support the value-added services.