GlobalPlatform releases new secure chip whitepaper for mobile channel

5 March 2012

GlobalPlatform, a trade body that seeks to develop specifications for secure, interoperable chips, is releasing a new whitepaper that it wants to encourage discussion around the need for trusted tokens – or otherwise – in the mobile financial services space.

Entitled ‘A New Model: The Consumer-Centric Model and How it Applies to the Mobile Ecosystem the whitepaper from GlobalPlatform’s 80 members, including names such as PayPal, Amex, Visa, Nokia, ActivIdentity and gemalto, outlines a cooperative model that the trade body says will ensure the consumer is placed at the centre of secure application ecosystem, enabling them to pay for goods and bank safely while on the move.

According to GlobalPlatform different applications will require varying degrees of security, from simple protection for apps such as loyalty or gaming mobile downloads, to higher protection on debit-credit payments and identity procedures surrounding banking apps. To meet these varying needs in a standardised manner GlobalPlatform promotes the need for a trusted token; a secure chip-based object, owned by the consumer that adopts the role of a personal security container. In other words, it wants to migrate one-time password (OTP) token customers of the past, which have typically been very expensive for banks and others to maintain, on to the new mobile channel so that OTP codes can be sent more quickly and cheaply to mobile phone users in the future. Such OTP tokens can provide security assurances and help to encourage the growth of the mobile channel, believes the trade body.

The whitepaper from the specification body at GlobalPlatform outlines a roadmap to support this customer-centric model, stating how a verifiable level of security can be delivered for both low and highly-sensitive applications. It defines an open and scalable infrastructure that encourages the proliferation of supplier agnostic standards-based technology to consumers. The trade body says it should be of interest to application developers, issuers, trusted service managers, payment platform providers and mobile network operators.

“It is becoming increasingly evident that the consumer-centric model is inevitable as consumers become more comfortable with downloading applications onto their [mobile] devices, requiring more and more protection of their private data and value added services,” said Gil Bernabeu, the technical director of GlobalPlatform, when discussing the whitepaper. “To ensure widespread adoption, however, it is important that the model evolves in a standardised manner and that the industry collaborates to develop a secure and fully interoperable landscape. We are therefore calling on other industry associations across all market sectors engaged in delivering value-added applications and secure services to consumers, to provide contributions to this model to ultimately speed up mass market deployment.”

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