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Spokesperson: Stephanie El Rhomri, New Services Marketing Manager, FIME

Why do you believe industry compliance programs are important to the management of applications in the secure chip landscape?

FIME is very involved in the evolution of new chip-based technologies and sees many exciting new applications being developed. We recognize, however, that such applications need to be able to fully inter-operate within the marketplace and integrate with existing and future technology and infrastructures. Interoperability, therefore, is key to allow a business case to be built by issuers wanting to bring a new product to market. At the same time, interoperability ensures that applications can be managed in a user-friendly way that will appeal to consumers.

Compliance programs and certification schemes help to achieve this. They ensure that an application can integrate into the market successfully and that every actor involved in the ecosystem is aware of what will be delivered.

As ecosystems in the chip landscape become ever more complex and new stakeholders are introduced, the ability to confirm and provide proof that the architecture will work consistently in any given device, is increasingly important. It also gives stakeholders the opportunity to be vendor neutral, and be able to replace devices without impacting other actors within the ecosystem.

What do you see as the specific key industry benefits of the GlobalPlatform Compliance Program?

As more and more applications reside on the same token (such as a mobile phone) it has become fundamental that all products align to a given standard. GlobalPlatform aims to ensure the interoperability of applications embedded in the same secure environment, and with its reach across multiple sectors, is perfectly placed to establish and confirm industry interoperability in this area.

The industry will benefit from a clear and coordinated testing program that will ensure market readiness of a UICC product and confirm its ability to perform, as required, in the marketplace. With the introduction of certified products, the market will be able to streamline the roll out of multi-application projects and vendors will be able to speed-up the product testing phase and mitigate the risk of unforeseen issues during deployment, thereby reducing development costs.

As GlobalPlatform’s compliance program evolves, this benefit will be offered to different individual markets, such as identity and transport, and will provide a framework for markets that are converging.

Why did you decide to participate in the GlobalPlatform Compliance Program and how do you see your future role in this activity?

FIME has been active in driving the interoperability of chip-based applications across various markets, with the development of test tools and the establishment of a laboratory approval program. As technology has continued to evolve however, it has become clear that there is a definite need for a compliance program to harmonize the multi-application landscape.

We are eager to commit resources into the GlobalPlatform compliance program initiative, as we recognize that once a stable and established ecosystem is created to deliver multiple secure applications via a UICC, the market will become more attractive to all stakeholders. This in turn would assist in realizing the potential of this technology while at the same time ensure that it is developed in a manner that is scalable, sustainable and flexible to the long-term needs of the market.

FIME will continue to be committed to supporting the program by providing its expertise – both by contributing in GlobalPlatform discussions as well as developing and bringing the required tools and services to market – as the program develops into vertical markets including banking and identity.

What is your offering to the marketplace?

FIME is the first integration testing services provider to receive GlobalPlatform qualification for both test tools and laboratories. With this approval, we can provide our customers with the confidence that their products meet and comply with the relevant industry and regulatory standards to harmonize multiple applications on a secure element. This is the first step in FIME’s overall aim to develop and expand our test tool laboratory offerings to vertical markets.

FIME can support the market from the early stages of product development, through to the final testing stage with expert consultancy and specialized testing for NFC-based applications. GlobalPlatform accreditation supplements and expands on our portfolio of services for the chip industry.