March 27, 2014
Cuscal – an Australian payments products provider - has unveiled a trial program that utilizes Host Card Emulation (HCE). It enables any android phone with the latest version of KitKat to be used in place of credit card with PayWave Technology. Cuscal plans to launch commercially via financial institutions by June, 2014.
We see HCE as being a really important next step in mobile payments because it’ll enable our clients to use devices without the hassle of having to deal with mobile operators or handset manufacturers, said Cuscal’s GM of product & services, Adrian Lovney. It’ll enable our clients to really push the boundaries; a real next step in mobile payments.
We think customers understand that; you’ve got other banks targeting Samsung S4 owners as having access to embedded secure element technology, so clearly targeted communications for cardholders about which devices this will work on does work. We know, people increasingly update their devices every 12 to 18 months anyway. It’ll certainly grow, said Adrian Lovney. In the HCE world, there does need to be some level of Internet connectivity. If you’ve only got one bar of reception then a transaction may not work; two bars and above and you’re away, he added.
My view is that Apple might embrace this, because it doesn’t require the cooperation of telcos to actually enable or provision the capability of the phone said Brian Parker. Apple would be able to control their ecosystem, which they love doing. The application would be downloaded to the app store, through their certification. Apple might see that as an opportunity; one of those things that encourages them to put NFC in there. But that’s pure speculation.