SIMalliance publishes guidance on choosing the right NFC technology

SIMalliance has published guidance for banks, retailers, transit operators and other service providers aiming to bring NFC services to market, in an effort to help them choose the right NFC deployment technology model.

A checklist and matrix published by the organisation maps key deployment criteria – including application, market reach, security and technology considerations – against the four major NFC deployment technologies: HCE, SIM-secure element (SE), embedded SE (eSE) and hybrid models. This framework enables SIMalliance to recommend the technologies and deployment models that are most capable of delivering against each criteria.

SIMalliance’s aim is to help service providers understand that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to NFC and to educate that the most appropriate technology, or combination of technologies, is determined by the requirements of specific use cases (i.e. banking, loyalty, transit) and the preferences of individual service providers.

Commenting on the guidance, SIMalliance Chairman, Hervé Pierre, comments:

“The past year has been both critical and progressive for NFC; multiple types of complementary deployment technologies are now widely acknowledged and high-profile deployments indicate that mass market NFC services are getting closer.”

With the increased technology choices that service providers now face when bringing their NFC services and applications to market, some may welcome support when navigating their options. Over the past year, different providers have opted for different technology approaches, illustrating that this is not a black or white decision; yet the choice of deployment technology and model is crucial. It has the potential to significantly impact service viability, user experience, customer reach, security and service roadmap, both now and in the future.

 “It is SIMalliance’s view that different NFC technologies complement each other by bringing different qualities to the ecosystem and further convergence is likely, leading to many future types of hybrid models, which have not yet been defined. In this changing landscape, the ‘right’ deployment technology varies depending on the use case and service provider. These tools we have made available intend to provide a balanced assessment of what might make one technology more suitable than another according to specific deployment criteria, at the present time. Service providers are free to use this information to make their own judgement / risk assessment when establishing a suitable deployment model for their specific use case.”


Visual 1 – Comparative assessment of NFC technology by key criteria.


Visual 2 – SIMalliance recommended deployment model by use case. 



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