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GlobalPlatform unveils secure mobile transaction framework to aid rollouts

In an effort to bring clarity and standardisation to the deployment of secure mobile financial services and payments, the GlobalPlatform secure chip industry association has published the first release of its ‘End-to-End Simplified Service Management Framework v1.0’. The framework aims to provide a market-focused implementation guide to end users, potentially cutting the time to market and deployment costs.

The new version 1 specifications focus on contactless payments and should be of interest to financial institutions, payment service providers (PSPs), mobile network operators (MNOs), secure element security vendors, data preparation bureaus, trusted service managers (TSMs) and mobile device manufacturers. It can be downloaded online for free by members of the association, or for $1995 by non-members.

Others standardisation initiatives in the contactless mobile m-payment, card and m-banking arenas are of course also underway. It by no means certain yet what standard and interoperability environment will emerge, but this latest industry-wide attempt to agree terms should be welcomed as another attempt to finalise the contactless mobile payment ecosystem. Input from various regulators, payment councils, card schemes, the bank-led Mobey Forum and others is also available, but the GlobalPlatform effort includes many of these same players and can contribute towards providing the necessary security and management environment.

Mobile Contactless Payment Framework
The end-to-end framework was created by 28 GlobalPlatform members in the not-for-profit association’s relevant working group, including MasterCard. The document seeks to streamline the service management process by outlining how GlobalPlatform specifications can be used to implement a comprehensive end-to-end configuration relevant to each market sector, such as payments and transport. The configurations provide a basic template, potentially enabling FIs, PSPs and other service providers to deploy services faster.

The ‘End-to-End Simplified Service Management Framework v1.0’ document specifies: the workflows between the involved parties in the financial and virtual supply chain in order to try to deliver a seamless user experience and ensure widespread consumer and corporate uptake. Defining the overall architecture will also provide clarity in the data flow and implementation stages and the configurations can be used to ensure interoperability across various interfaces and end point devices.

Commenting on the launch, James Anderson, group head of emerging payments at MasterCard, and the man who lead the GlobalPlatform initiative, said: “As the mobile payments industry continues to advance, we identified the need for an approach that would simplify the deployment of mobile m-payments. We chose to work within GlobalPlatform to utilise the expert knowledge of its members and to ensure that parties across the payments ecosystem could contribute to, and benefit from, this framework. We recognised that it’s important to make technical information accessible to all, and to offer guidance to promote consistency and ensure an interoperable payment framework. We are pleased to lead part of this activity and look forward to future releases of the framework.”

Configuration Selector
According to Gil Bernabeu, technical director at GlobalPlatform, as new players enter the secure services ecosystem and new partnerships are formed to deliver innovative products, it is vital there is clarity across the payments infrastructure. “Our new end-to-end payment framework acts as an entry point to GlobalPlatform for new players,” explained Bernabeu. “Each actor selects their end-to-end configuration by answering a simple set of questions. The configuration selector will filter out the options enabling each actor to determine how to implement its own components for a particular deployment.”

“GlobalPlatform specifications already address what is required on the secure element, trusted execution environment and mobile messaging to deploy secure mobile services,” continued Bernabeu. “By creating this end-to-end framework - which defines how each element of a mobile payments deployment connects with each other and to the back-end office - we are rolling out the final piece of the jigsaw. The framework brings the whole solution chain together, and shows how GlobalPlatform truly supports the full lifecycle of secure applications in a simple deployment environment.”

By Neil Ainger