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This month, GlobalPlatform speaks with Marie Costers, General Manager Test Solutions at Clear2Pay, to find out more about the company's activities, the decision to upgrade to full membership, the evolution of the payments landscape and Clear2Pay's GlobalPlatform implementations.

  • What does Clear2Pay offer and what is your role?

Clear2Pay is a global technology provider of next generation (mobile) payment solutions. We help our customers to reduce transaction processing costs and bring new services to market. In addition - and this is where our GlobalPlatform membership comes into the play - we offer a comprehensive range of test solutions covering all kinds of digital transactions. Since these test solutions are flexible and automated our customers can assess quality in order to launch new products with confidence.
At Clear2Pay we are strong believers in the new mobile payments reality: besides an indispensible pocket-sized do-it-all gizmo, the mobile device will become the payment mechanism of choice. However, especially when money is involved: the roll-out of mobile near field communication (NFC) services must be guaranteed bulletproof. Trust, reliability and security are key factors on the way to mass adoption.
Rigorous testing and compliance is the only way to ensure quality and create a culture of confidence. Obviously, quality assurance can be a complex, time-consuming and costly task. We are pleased to bring our 25 years of knowledge within the payments and mobile worlds to GlobalPlatform and have been involved - since the very start - in innovative technologies such as EMV and NFC to name just a few.

  • What’s the role of Clear2Pay in GlobalPlatform and why have you decided to upgrade to full membership?

Since the inception of GlobalPlatform, Clear2Pay joined forces with FIME to propose test solutions to help the industry validate the compliance of mobile products to align with GlobalPlatform Specifications. For smartcard manufacturers, the GlobalPlatform Test Suite is the best way to save time and costs when testing chip-based mobile products. Mobile network operators will use this tool to effectively evaluate conformance of new solutions before rollout and to improve interoperability between the different providers.
We have been a GlobalPlatform member for several years now. We will see mobile NFC services ignite within the next few years and expect NFC to be the facilitating technology. According to Strategic Analytics, by the end of 2013 there will be nearly 400 million NFC capable phones, which is around 5% of the world’s total population - a large enough installed base for solution providers to create viable mobile NFC services such as contactless mobile payments. With NFC to jumpstart mobile contactless payments, we are confident that in this ecosystem, GlobalPlatform is the requisite norm that will advance interoperable, secure solutions and align vendor agnostic applications...thus enabling the viable value-added mobile solutions we are all looking for.
We are active in many industry standardization bodies and have aided the industry with the provision of test solutions with the aim to test conformance to governing standards and create reliable solutions. This upgrade to full GlobalPlatform membership is another milestone for us being a next generation solution facilitator. It underpins our conviction that the future of mobile contactless payment heavily relies on the GlobalPlatform Standards and the valuable contributions made by its growing member list.
We are looking forward to committing resources to the GlobalPlatform Compliance Program as we know that a stable procedure and guideline program for installing applications on a secure environment will advance the involvement of more developers and spark the new mobile dream we are all living.

  • In light of the EMV migration activity in the US and the increased adoption of mobile payments worldwide, how do you see the payments landscape evolving over the next 5 years?

The traditionally separated payment and mobile markets are converging, creating the potential for new opportunities for all stakeholders. Financial institutions (but also other service providers) see the mobile platform as a well-estabished way to offer new, value-added services; the consumer is increasingly enthusiastic to adopt the many benefits of mobile NFC services. On the other hand, non-traditional payment market players such as mobile network operators, cloud-based solution providers and digital transaction players are interested in partaking in the promising mobile payment playground.
Despite the slower-than-expected adoption by consumers, payments made via a mobile phone will boom in the following years as predicted by several studies. Mobile payments – when they are EMV based - are basically the same as card transactions at the point-of- sale, so implementing EMV will lead to a faster adoption of mobile and contactless payment initiatives. The U.S. market already boasts payment devices with contactless features, only a small additional investment would be needed to add mobile card acceptance. Markets currently migrating to EMV could choose to skip ‘contact-only’ infrastructure and go straight to dual interface card acceptance devices.
Taking advantage of the mobile device’s additional features like connectivity to the cloud, geolocation,...value-added mobile payment services (and even shopping) solutions can be offered. In this way it is expected that the US will leapfrog the ‘traditional’ EMV countries.

  • What are Clear2Pay’s priorities for the coming year?

Our full GlobalPlatform membership will trigger Clear2Pay to play a more dominant role in the organization and be instrumental for all actors in the mobile sphere: from card/device manufacturers to mobile application vendors, trusted service managers (TSMs) to complex back-office system developers, with the ultimate aim to smooth the launch of innovative solutions.
Alongside that we are working on a new, flexible and faster test development platform capable of implementing all levels and all types of tests whether at technology level (EMV, NFC and single wire protocol (SWP), for example) or business level and regardless of the type of component under test (including card, device and host), for the broadest test coverage ever. We are ready to support any EMV project or any migration to mobile NFC service initiative. One of our key objectives is to guide companies through their complex mobile payment projects including end-to-end test support.

  • What are we working on? Any implementations using GlobalPlatform Specifications?

Clear2Pay is a strategic partner of FIME, whose GlobalPlatform Test Suite allows companies to meet GlobalPlatform and EMVCo requirements. This joint solution is built on our test platform and features Clear2Pay’s SWP and host controller interface (HCI) test case libraries. We are currently looking into our TSM test tool environment.
As a payment modernizer, Clear2Pay has an overall, innovative view on how the payment technologies work now and how they are expected to work in the future. We support companies during product development with benchmark test tools and expertise, prepare them for official certification in EMV, NFC Forum or GlobalPlatform test laboratories.