HCE: More Choices May Fuel Market Adoption


Whether you’re ordering dinner in a restaurant or shopping for a new car, it’s great to have more than one choice.  Even when we think we know what we want, having a choice can make the decision that much clearer.

We’ve seen that recently in the world of NFC technology.  Inspired by the enormous potential of NFC’s easy and intuitive tap-and-go operation, enterprising developers sought a new way to deliver secure NFC services without the need for a tamper-resistant secure element, such as a SIM or an embedded security chip.  The result was Host Card Emulation (HCE), an NFC-based model in which transactions take place using credentials stored in the cloud or on the host processor of the NFC-enabled mobile device

By opening this route to secure NFC services, HCE may provide developers with a jump start to launching new NFC applications. If that’s true, it will translate to a greater choice of NFC services offering more and different features and benefits to businesses and consumers.

For us at the NFC Forum, that means the kind of open and dynamic marketplace that stimulates further innovation and drives greater adoption.

Of course, all good ideas have to be tested in practice, and HCE-based solutions will need to prove that they can address the latency and security that consumers and businesses demand.  But with 500 million NFC devices in the market (and growing), HCE is showing us one more way of taking NFC technology global.