In two separate announcements, MasterCard and Visa have reportedly said that they will give merchants and banks more options for incorporating contact-less payment systems into their mobile phone apps, on Wednesday. The customer can use the technology by way of an app, to make purchases by simply tapping the phone to a store’s card reader.
Earlier, the card information was to be stored on a secured part of the phone and now, it can be stored remotely in a server, as the retail / banking app on the phone can recollect the data as per requirement to complete the transaction.
Visa said in its announcement that it will provide app developers with a complete service, with card information stored on Visa’s servers. Sam Shrauger, Visa’s senior vice president for digital services in developed markets, said that having payment information on remote servers is cheaper and easier to operate, than using the phone’s hardware.
However, MasterCard said it will publish the technical details by the end of June, to help companies use the new Android feature. The feature is called as Host Card Emulation. James Anderson, MasterCard’s group head for emerging payments, said in a statement, “The use of HCE provides a very attractive way forward to launch an increased number of NFC-based offerings.” MasterCard has been testing the technology with two major banks, the Capital One in US and Banco Sabadell in Europe.
Visa and MasterCard are both targeting phones that have a wireless technology, that is, the near-field communication (NFC). The remote storage capabilities come with the KitKat version of Android OS, which was released last year. While, Apple’s iPhones lack the NFC, but many cases are available that enable the technology on it.