Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) reportedly plans to offer a Near Field Communication (NFC) service to its customers that stores sensitive card and other data in the cloud instead of on the handset device. As such, RBC would assume the data-security risk instead of the customer.
The data is transmitted encrypted and decoded locally on the client’s mobile device at the point-of-sale through partnerships with mobile service providers.
The bank also says that the system will offer simple and fast provisioning of account information, seamless card lifecycle management, and an ‘open wallet’ architecture, meaning that in the future it will have the ability to support non-RBC payment methods.
Linda Mantia, EVP, cards and payments solutions, RBC, says: “We have designed a mobile payment solution that offers a better client experience and increased security than has been previously available, while meeting industry standards.”
Just over a month ago, Bell ID announced a similar initiative, Secure Element in the Cloud, which enables card issuers to store security keys and certificates as well as NFC credentials remotely and securely. Unlike RBC, which says it plans to work with mobile network providers, BellID’s position is that its service does away with the need to partner with mobile networks or other third parties. RBC appears to view such companies as valued distribution vehicles, and in a country that essentially has only a few major banks, they could be handy partners. With so many financial institutions in the U.S., such partnerships from a viability standpoint are much more limited. What remains to be seen is whether RBC and BellID wind up in a patent-infringement suit.
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