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Sentry Wireless adds budgeting and spending controls to NFC payments

Using a patented firewall for SIM cards, credit and debit card accounts loaded onto an NFC phone can be restricted so that a junior employee can use his corporate card to pay only for petrol and travel expenses or a child can use it only to make purchases in particular retailers.

SENTRY: SIM-based firewall can restrict spending based on a rules engine which can be updated over the air
SENTRY: SIM-based firewall can restrict spending based on a rules engine which can be updated over the air

Irish mobile security specialist Sentry Wireless has developed a budgeting and spending control solution for NFC phones that enables the bill payer to restrict what type of retailer an NFC phone can be used to make purchases in, what kind of goods can be bought and how much can be spent.

Sentry Wireless’ technology uses a rules engine to determine whether a transaction is permitted or not and, because it is SIM-based, each user’s rules can be updated by the bill payer whenever a change is required and then uploaded to the SIM over-the-air.

For companies issuing corporate cards to their employees, this means that a newly promoted employee could have his corporate ‘card’ upgraded over-the-air so that, instead of being restricted to charging only petrol and accommodation expenses to his card, he can now also charge for entertaining clients and can spend more each month.

For parents, a debit or credit card tied to their account could be uploaded to a child’s NFC phone but spending could be restricted to a short list of approved retailers or product types.

Who will pay to add Sentry’s technology to the SIM, the card issuer or the mobile operator? “That’s the $64,000 question,” Matt Norton, Sentry Wireless’ chief executive told NFCW. “The value chain is still under discussion — we don’t expect to be in the first wave of NFC applications. We will be in the second wave, in two to two-and-a-half years time. First we will see people simply using their phones to make payments.”

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