Host Card Emulation in Android: What Does it Mean?
Android KitKat 4.4 spreads a new buzz around Host Card Emulation (HCE).
HCE is wind in the sails of near field communication (NFC) based transactions.
But what exactly is HCE?
HCE is the virtual representation of a smart card using only software.
It allows a mobile device to emulate a payment card and make NFC mobile payments.
Transaction credentials no longer need to be stored inside the phone (the secure element) but can be hosted remotely: in the cloud.
This offers more control and direct access to application issuers: it eases the use of NFC.
Android dominates 81% (3rd quarter of 2013) of global smartphone shipments.
Service Providers (SPs) are now able to offer direct services to a large majority of smartphone users.
What does all this mean?
HCE is now a viable alternative for many card emulation projects since no physical secure element is needed in the phone.
Service providers now have more available business models and partners to work with.
HCE is ideal for solutions where a physical secure element adds insufficient value to justify additional costs: loyalty – couponing – access control
Service providers can also opt for a hybrid solution: use the flexibility of the cloud with the security of the physical secure element.
The cloud offers greater processing power and greater storage to load any number of cards…
…while the physical secure element contains the levels of accepted security.
Interested to learn more? Watch our video!