The near insatiable demand for mobile connectivity along with recent advancements in near-field communication (NFC) and memory card technologies have helped expand the market for mobile banking exponentially in the last few years. In fact, Gartner (News - Alert) estimates that mobile payments will increase to more than $1.1 trillion by 2014, up seven fold from current numbers.
Consumers' mounting expectations for mobile banking offerings have led to a number of recent announcements in the space – two coming from mobile banking leader Tyfone, a provider of secure mobile financial transaction and identity solutions.
The first big piece of news coming out of Tyfone is that the company has inked a partnership agreement with Taiwan memory manufacturer AboMem. Under the terms of the collaborative agreement, AboMem will be able to manufacture, distribute and service Tyfone’s famed SideTap microSD NFC products.
This means that Chinese companies will be able to leverage the power of Tyfone’s patented SideTap microSD product to offer access to secure, contactless mobile payments through handheld devices. While companies can now purchase solutions directly from AboMem, they can continue to rely on Tyfone for identity provisioning and the implementation of mobility services.
"A necessary element required for the success of add-on NFC and secure element capabilities is the ability to scale to meet demand," Nick Holland, senior analyst with the Yankee Group (News - Alert), noted in a statement. "This announcement demonstrates that Tyfone will be equipped with the NFC MicroSD manufacturing capabilities that will be critical for matching incoming demand for NFC hardware as the floodgates are opened."
In related news, Tyfone was recently issued a patent for secure add-on smartcard technologies that help enable the programming of smartcard circuitry over wired, wireless or cellular networks.
The technology in question helps make it possible for users to customize their mobile wallet through the provisioning of multiple user identities that can be securely managed over the air, according to a company statement. Technologies built into the aforementioned SideTap microSD card are covered under the patent, providing end users with the ability to develop and manage transactional identities and other information through the add-on slot of their mobile device.
Other headline-making news in the mobile banking industry comes from Giesecke & Devrient (News - Alert) (G&D), which recently introduced a Mobile Security Card that helps to better secure applications that are running on open-source Android (News - Alert)-based handsets.
GoMo News describes the new offering as a memory card/PIN smart card hybrid, meaning developers can incorporate authentication features into Android mobile apps, which by their very nature tend to be rather insecure. The chips should help encourage the use of mobile banking software and other business-critical applications across the Android platform.
The demand for technologies provided by companies like Tyfone and G&D should only increase following a recent announcement from the SD Association, a global ecosystem of memory card manufacturers.
The Association noted just last week that it is working with the smartcard industry body GlobalPlatform to include smart-chip technology in Secure Digital standards. The end result will help mobile device manufacturers build smartphones and other gadgets that provide authentication services with SD memory cards.
The agreement will help transform mobile devices into "electronic wallets carrying cashless currency and paperless identification for use in making everyday purchases such as groceries or train tickets, or in receiving customized subscription services like mobile television," SD Association (News - Alert) executives added.
Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin