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Made Simple Guide - End-to-End Framework

Are near field communication (NFC) services being delivered today?
While there are some active projects today, the industry is still waiting for the first mass market deployment. Delivering NFC services is a complicated process, despite all the technical progress achieved to standardize implementation. Current standards support many different business models and actors, and with so many options available for interpretation, it is hard to know what exact technical requirements apply to a specific deployment.

As new players enter the secure mobile services ecosystem, such as trusted service managers (TSMs), and new partnerships are formed to deliver innovative products, it is vital that there is clarity across the infrastructure to support the development of an end-to-end compliant and trusted solution.

What specifications have been developed by GlobalPlatform that support TSMs and the mobile payments ecosystem?
GlobalPlatform has developed a specification for the Management of Mobile NFC Services which outlines how NFC applications should be provisioned and managed. The document was recently advanced to address how service providers can connect and communicate with other actors operating within the NFC ecosystem.

The document is important as it clearly defines ‘who’ is responsible for ‘what’ and agrees the messaging (e.g. the language used to exchange information) that will be used. This enables the NFC / mobile marketplace to make the required communication exchanges to provide the end-user with secure services on the secure element (SE) and shortly, the trusted execution environment (TEE). This ultimately allows a stakeholder to connect its system to the SE / TEE and any other actor within the ecosystem. For further details on this specification, review the mobile messaging made simple guide.

When developing this document, GlobalPlatform’s goal was to provide a messaging specification that would allow individual markets to establish a business process, based on the common messaging framework. The GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, has put this into practice with the publication of its ‘Business Process Implementation Guidelines using GlobalPlatform Protocols’, which sets out a framework for mobile network operators to reach full interoperability with GlobalPlatform protocols. GlobalPlatform believes this is the first of many similar documents and is the realization of the association’s initial aim.

What activity has GlobalPlatform already undertaken in this space?
In 2013, GlobalPlatform established a working group to define how trusted end-to-end solutions can be implemented. The End-to-End Simplified Framework Working Group within GlobalPlatform’s Systems Committee creates guidelines which incorporate the SE, mobile application and mobile messaging specifications to ease the deployment of secure NFC services in an effort to reduce implementation time and cost.

The ‘end-to-end’ frameworks are developed for different markets from the service provider perspective. The guidelines address simplified business models for a particular ecosystem and outline exactly what is required on the card, device and system to deploy secure mobile services that align with GlobalPlatform Specifications and Configurations.

The first framework, released in early 2014, focuses on contactless payments. This was created in response to demand from the banks and payment systems for the development of a secure end-to-end infrastructure that clearly defines each actor’s role within the mobile payments ecosystem and specifies the technology specifications to be used.

The market requirement reflects the desire of payment systems to support the development of a stable and solid infrastructure for mobile payments. This is an encouraging sign for mobile service providers that will rely on the payment systems to deliver their services within the NFC space.

Why is this important?
GlobalPlatform Specifications already address what is required for the implementation of an SE, TEE and system independently. Current GlobalPlatform Specifications allow mature customers to fine tune their implementations. The end-to-end framework aims to support new service providers or issuers to deploy implementations faster, by using a simple and pre-customized model. Creating an end-to-end framework which defines how each element of an NFC deployment connects with each other and to the backend office i.e. the system, is the final piece of the jigsaw; it brings the whole solution together and shows how GlobalPlatform truly supports the full lifecycle of secure applications in a simple deployment environment.

The end-to-end framework will act as an entry point to GlobalPlatform technology for new actors. It will serve as a central document which outlines the specifications and configurations that are needed for stakeholders in a particular industry i.e. banking, to develop their solutions to their specific market requirements. Implementers can add more complexity to the deployment if required.

How does this benefit TSMs and other participants in this sector?
The development of this framework will bring clarity to the industry and encourage alignment between all stakeholders involved. The framework will enhance engagement between actors such as mobile network operators, TSMs and commercial partners, which will encourage the development of joint mobile services.

For TSMs, this is also the first real direction the industry has had and is the first time that all parties have had the same template to work from. The framework will aim to reduce implementation costs, therefore encourage faster deployments and speed up development of a trusted and compliant mobile services ecosystem.

Will this be integrated into the GlobalPlatform Compliance Program?
GlobalPlatform will align its compliance program to support the end-to-end framework. It will test products against current specifications for cards and devices, and then use the framework as a potential uses case to test the end-to-end deployment.

Want to learn more?
The ‘End-to-End Simplified Service Management Framework v1.0’ is available free to members and can be downloaded from the GlobalPlatform store by non-members. Following the success of its TSM seminars in Europe, the US and Asia, GlobalPlatform plans to hold additional events over the coming year. Further details will follow.

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