Earlier today, a press release was issued by RIM that announced their Secure Element Manager (SEM) solution for NFC mobile payments has been approved by Visa. RIM’s SEM technology will allow consumers to store payment information and sensitive credentials on mobile SIM cards.
But what does this announcement mean for the average consumer, or enterprise individual? It means that when Blackberry 10 actually hits the market, innovative mobile payment options will be offered along with it. We may actually see a time where you no longer carry a wallet in your back pocket, filled with credit and debit cards. Instead, all of your information will be securely stored via your mobile device.
RIM’s Press Release
The beauty of this announcement is that it applies not just to Blackberry devices, but any device equipped with NFC technology.
“The approval from Visa of RIM’s SEM solution is an important step in that it will enable carriers to support Visa issuing banks and financial institutions,” said Frank Maduri, Senior Director, NFC Services and TSM Product Management at RIM. “We now offer carriers a robust solution with around-the-clock global support that works on any NFC-capable device, and meets the stringent technology and usability guidelines for Visa.”
“RIM’s success in gaining Visa’s formal approval as secure element manager is a crucial step in expanding RIM’s role as a key security partner for mobile payment solutions around the globe,” said Andy Castonguay, Principal Analyst, at Informa Telecoms & Media. “RIM’s secure network operations center provides a unique combination of global geographic reach, and has established trusted relationships with hundreds of carriers around the world with an unparalleled reputation for security, which sets RIM apart as an SEM partner in the growing mobile payments space.”
This announcement further builds on the EnStream mobile payments system in Canada. More specifically, it’s a joint program involving Bell, Rogers and TELUS that uses RIM’s SEM solution for mobile payments.
Even with RIM’s recent troubles, the Blackberry brand still remains one of the most secure mobile platforms on the market. This rightfully makes Blackberry and RIM’s SEM solution the ideal platform for mobile payments.
Don’t Be Fooled by Apple
According to Juniper Research, the global NFC market will take a hit in net revenue simply because Apple decided against using the technology in their latest device, the iPhone 5.
“While many vendors have introduced NFC-enabled smartphones, Apple’s decision is a significant blow for the technology, particularly give its previous successes in educating the wider public about new mobile services,” said Juniper report author Windsor Holden. “Without their support, it will be even more difficult to persuade consumers—and retailers—to embrace what amounts to a wholly new means of payment.”
However, this information could be considered unreliable especially when you take into account the fact that Samsung, who is currently the top-selling smartphone maker in the industry, supports NFC technology. There’s no brushing aside the stark fact that Android is dominating the mobile market. At the top of the list of best selling Android devices, Samsung occupies more than one place thanks to the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2.
If Samsung is backing NFC technology, then it’s pretty clear that there’s enormous potential to be made in the future.
Flipping that point back over to RIM, who plans to support NFC mobile payments and other features with the Blackberry 10 platform, I think there may be a storm on the horizon. Of course, consumers would benefit from such technology, but the business world would benefit the most in regards to NFC. The convenience of mobile payment solutions, like RIM’s SEM platform, is just way to egregious to ignore.
We’ll find out over the next few months, what all of this means since Blackberry 10 is now set to launch in just 14 days.
Two weeks people, two weeks.