Does the integral role of a physical secure element in payment services make it a necessity for mobile financial services?

Last updated: 12 December 2014

We are witnessing the increasing role of the secure element, in different forms, in mobile payments today. From TSM-based SIM deployments, such as Valyou, to the recent roll-outs based on embedded Secure Elements such as ApplePay and, more recently, China UnionPay, based on AndroidPay, using similar technologies; fingerprint recognition plus Near Field Communication (NFC) working off an embedded secure element.

Those major roll-outs have the secure element in common, however the diversity of tamper-proof devices embedded in handset for storing sensitive credentials for payment and authentication with fingerprint is growing ever greater, and this is something that will need to be addressed.

Gemalto’s Trusted Service Hub (TSH) is designed to address market fragmentation when it comes to the need for securely installing sensitive credentials in any type of mobile tamper-proof devices, and also in a software host, secured through the use of tokens.

However, we believe that in the future multiple mobile payment solutions will coexist, SE-based, cloud-based or even hybrid.