The GSMA has released a world standard on the implementation of SIM-based NFC. This standard defines common APIs for mobile phones and should enable “global deployment of secure, interoperable and ubiquitous SIM-based mobile NFC services”.
Sectors such as payments, ticketing, access control (cars, hotel rooms, etc.), loyalty coupons and entertainment services are primarily targeted.
45 world leading mobile operators have committed to comply with this standard: among these, China Mobile and China Unicom, US ISIS members (AT&T, T-Mobile USA and Verizon) as well as the main EU operators, including French ones.
The GSMA gathers 800 mobile operators worldwide. Its focus on
standardisation also paves the way for the deployment of international
third parties’ SIM-based apps. These apps can also be combined to
enhance merchant service management and improve customer experience. In
the transportation sector, mobile phones can be used to propose
geolocated services, enable payments and, if relevant, send coupons or
access keys. In the hotel business, they can be used as electronic keys
with scalable lifespan depending on the duration of stay.
Nevertheless, the so-called SIM-centric model is already being
challenged in the EU and North American markets. The increasing
popularity of Smartphones, for which contactless enablement does not
necessarily rely on the SIM card, has opened the way for simpler models
with enhanced features. The SIM-based model mostly seems to be suited
for developing countries where less advanced mobile phones are
According to Strategy Analytics, between 2010 and 2016, nearly 1.5
billion SIM-based mobile phones will have been sold. They should support
over 50 billion dollars in transactions over this period. Also, ABI
Research explains that by 2016, 85% of the new POS terminals will be