Inside Contactless to offer single source for full range of alternative NFC form factors

The company is working in partnership with suppliers of all types of NFC form factors, from stickers to microSD cards and Bluetooth devices, to offer a compatible range of options for retrofitting NFC-like services to existing mobile phones.

INSIDE: Set to offer all NFC form factors
INSIDE: Set to offer all form factors

Inside Contactless has launched an initiative to develop a range of compatible solutions for retrofitting existing mobile phones with near field communications functionality, with the first of the solutions expected to reach the market before the end of 2009.

“We have launched this initiative because we see an opportunity to support our partners and customers with a new class of MicroPass payment options designed to enable alternative mobile payment solutions as early as the start of next year,” says Charles Walton, executive vice president at Inside Contactless.

“As the leader in contactless payment solutions, Inside has the core chip hardware, optimised operating system, applications, reference antenna designs, technical expertise and other tools our partners can use to build a new class of solutions that can connect to existing mobile phones through various means to turn them into powerful payment devices,” he explained.

Inside already offers contactless stickers based on its MicroPass platform. Now, says the company, “several new mobile payment solutions coming to market from partners through Inside’s initiative will enable mobile phones to integrate with a MicroPass-based secure element outside the phone, enabling solutions to be deployed more rapidly in 2010.”

“Using microSD cards, existing Bluetooth channels, existing data connections, and other methods to communicate with the phone, these peripheral solutions will open the door to more robust, NFC-like payment, transit and access control applications in a next phase of deployment. These solutions will allow a mobile phone user to easily make a payment from among several virtual credit or debit cards stored within the mobile payment peripheral device, see the balance remaining on prepaid debit cards or transit passes, and even collect and redeem coupons and loyalty points.”

“Inside is in a unique position because of our relationships with bank card issuers, transit agencies, brands, access control companies and others, as well as with the technology innovators who are trying to produce new kinds of mobile payment solutions, and we have proven contactless payment chip platforms that have been certified by the major card brands,” Walton explained. “Whether it’s NFC or a mobile payment peripheral solution, Inside can provide compatibility and a future evolution path because the same chips, the same operating system, the same performance, the same security and the same interface that works with the same contactless readers are utilised.”

Participation in the new initiative is open to all technology companies working on NFC alternative solutions, says Inside Contactless, and anyone interested in finding out more should contact the company for further information.

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