SIMalliance Open Mobile API provides access to secure elements

Trade association SIMalliance has unveiled a specification for a standardised API which will improve the security of mobile phones and tablet computers, reducing the threat of identity theft.


The Open Mobile API is designed to allow application providers to access and utilise the secure element within an internet-connected mobile device, providing secure two-factor authentication to enable the secure delivery of a host of NFC, payment and identity services.

Current levels of single factor authentication — where users log in to a mobile application or service using a password — has been shown to be inadequate as attacks on smartphone and tablet applications increase in number and sophistication, the association says.

By connecting the application to the secure element via the Open Mobile API, SIMalliance says many security breaches possible today will become easily preventable.

“The development of a standardised API is a very significant step towards reducing the threat of identity theft and fraud on today’s generation of smartphones and tablets,” says Frédéric Vasnier, chairman of the SIMalliance board.

“Knowing their data is safe will increase consumer confidence and stimulate growing demand for new services — and that is good news for the user, the mobile operator and the hundreds of brands that now recognise the opportunities of engaging with their consumers on the mobile.”

The SIMalliance Open Mobile API specification is available as a PDF download here, and there’s also a white paper PDF which explains the initiative here.