A New Technology Is Breathing Life Into The Stalled Mobile Payments Industry

Mobile payments are still far less common than credit cards or cash for transactions in stores, but a new feature found on over 200 million Android phones could be a game changer.

Near Field Communications or NFC, which is used by many mobile payment apps (including Google Wallet), allows people to pay simply by tapping or waving their phone in front of a compatible payment terminal.

Before “Host card emulation,” or HCE, mobile payments that used NFC technology required access to a part of smartphones called “the secure element,” in order to store and use payment card data. But access to the secure element is controlled by the carriers. HCE is a software-based operation that allows wallet providers to bypass mobile carriers and deal directly with smartphone owners.

Here are some of the key points from our in-depth report on HCE and how it will shake up the mobile payments industry:

In full, the note:

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