GlobalPlatform sets out stall on multi-application NFC systems

A new, detailed white paper explains the work the international smart card specifications body has completed so far and outlines its future plans.

GlobalPlatform, the international smart card specifications body whose technical specifications for cards, devices and systems are used in more than 300 million smart cards and two billion SIM/USIM cards, has released a detailed white paper outlining the technical specifications it has created for the management of multi-application, multi-actor and multi-business model NFC implementations. It also presents GlobalPlatform’s plans for the development of future NFC specifications.

The white paper, entitled ‘The GlobalPlatform Proposition for NFC Mobile: Secure Element Management & Messaging’, details the roles and responsibilities of each player in the maintenance of an end-to-end security chain, required for the secure management of over-the air applications between a service provider’s back office and the secure element on a chip.

The white paper covers three key topics:

  • The new functional features that will be required in the back-office management systems to optimally manage a GlobalPlatform Secure Element, with specific focus on products compliant with the GlobalPlatform UICC configuration
  • The role and contribution that trusted service managers can make to transport, command and/or manage keys and certificates
  • The capabilities of the GlobalPlatform Messaging Specification to define standardized messages that can be exchanged between disparate systems in a GlobalPlatform compliant environment

“To support this fast evolving business landscape it is vital for the appropriate standards to be established that will allow the market to achieve a level of consistency, reliability and interoperability,” says Gil Bernabeu, technical director at GlobalPlatform and technical advisor for the standardisation and technology department at Gemalto. “This white paper clarifies the roles of the trusted service manager and trusted third party and this will facilitate the structuring of ecosystems between business partners and suppliers around the world.”

“GlobalPlatform is well positioned to facilitate the creation of a neutral infrastructure that will allow service providers, trusted service managers and mobile network operators to manage back-end systems, accommodate communication exchanges, and enable application download and personalisation, while successfully supporting the secure element, regardless of the business model used,” he added.

“The GlobalPlatform Messaging Specification is currently being updated to provide the necessary interoperability for the advancing NFC ecosystem, alongside a GlobalPlatform embedded secure element configuration,” Bernabeu explains.

“The white paper will eventually be updated to address this embedded secure element, in addition to the GlobalPlatform UICC Configuration. Since achieving scalability is key to the success of NFC technology, further amendments to existing GlobalPlatform Specifications will be made based on feedback from the industry and our members. This will ensure that NFC enabled phones used for payment, transport ticketing, loyalty, access and other contactless services become a mass market reality.”

Readers can download the white paper free of charge (PDF) from the GlobalPlatform website.

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