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Vodafone Isn’t Worried About HCE

Vodafone, Mobile World Congress, NFC, HCE, Telcos, Finextra, masterCard, James Anderson, Visa, Ibo Sanz

Vodafone’s head of mCommerce in Spain believes HCE is “good news” for telcos

If you weren’t already aware, MasterCard and Visa changed the payments game last week when they announced that they would be supporting Host Card Emulation – essentially allowing any apps to circumvent the secure element that telcos had placed in phones to secure NFC payments.

This could have easily been seen as a dangerous move to make as it could easily annoy telecoms companies who support handsets, and – in the process – damage their business and consumer trust in their services. However, speaking to Finextra at Mobile World Congress, Vodafone Spain’s mobile commerce director Ibo Sanz claimed that it’s “good news that thee is somebody making [HCE] homogeneous for everyone and easy to use, and we look forward to introducing these services into our wallet”.

But why is this such a good thing?

Well, Sanz helpfully points out that by having this freedom away from the secure element Vodafone can now combine “different usages” within its mobile wallet, mixing technologies without having to worry about payment security.

It almost sounds as if there’s now far more flexibility to create the mobile wallet that the customer really wants.

MasterCard agrees, with its group head of emerging payments, James Anderson, claiming that by HCE having a “simpler technology deployment” it now “has the option for a simpler business model.” For MasterCard this means that it solves “getting to a mass scale faster, so that [MasterCard] can get [HCE] capability into the hands of more consumers sooner.”

HCE should really change the landscape of the mobile payments, allowing for far more customers to make use of the feature as apps will no longer be bound by telecoms operators.

Do you think Vodafone has the right approach for this payments revelation?

Or should telco’s really be worried instead?

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