Infineon security chips enable world’s first NFC payment ring

23rd August 2016
Posted By : Nat Bowers
Infineon security chips enable world’s first NFC payment ring

NFCRing has introduced the world's first EMVCo compliant payment ring based on a contactless security chip from Infineon Technologies. The tiny, water-proof smart wearable works like a contactless payment card. Users can pay by simply holding their finger with the ring closely to any EMVCo contactless-enabled payment terminal. The ring uses NFC technology to communicate data over short distances of a few centimetres.

Shelly Silverstein, Chief Operating Officer, NFCRing, commented: "The Infineon security chip is the only solution available on the market, that allowed us to realise the NFC payment ring while still meeting EMVCo’s toughest contactless performance requirements. NFC Ring users now have a secure and convenient, payment experience with a fashionable accessory in an attractive design."

Almost half of all payment chip cards issued in 2015 worldwide use security solutions from Infineon. To make cashless payment even easier and more convenient for consumers, Infineon has optimised its contactless technology for payment applications with even the smallest smart wearables.

"Our chip technology makes paying with smart wearables as functional as paying with the well-known bank card, but also much more convenient. Proximity payments based on NFC technology are clearly on the rise - and payment solutions with smart wearables will accelerate this trend with consumers not even having to reach into their pockets to pay," added Thomas Rosteck, Vice President and General Manager, Secure Mobile & Transaction business line, Infineon.

As a global standard, EMVCo facilitates worldwide interoperability and acceptance of secure payment transactions. Management of specifications and related testing processes is driven by EMVCo’s six member organisations American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, UnionPay and Visa.

Increased convenience without compromising security

For the first time ever, contactless system developers have managed to build an EMVCo-compliant payment finger ring with a security chip and passive contactless antenna. The small surface area and dimension as well as the shape of the ring were not the only hurdle they had to overcome. The absence of a battery with smart wearables and contactless data transmission without taking the wearable off the finger make contactless transactions more difficult, too.

However, the developers have overcome all these challenges, thanks to the highly energy-efficient payment security chip from Infineon. The chip communicates via its tiny passive antenna with the terminal, triggers the secured payment and does cryptographic processing. Moreover, it is the only solution available on the market that complies with timing requirements of a few milliseconds whilst working at a distance of up to 4cm from a reader.

The infrastructure is there

Chip solutions from Infineon allow secured payment functions to be installed in new form factors. With payment functionality, smart wearables such as watches, chains or key rings are more than just cool gadgets, but deliver real added value for the consumer. This is just one reason why the number of smart wearables is expected to rise from 119 million at present to 340 million by the year 2020 (IHS Markit 2016). The rapid expansion of the contactless infrastructure based on the internationally accepted NFC standard is also boosting the development of new business models.

The ring is available for order worldwide for £39.99 from http://nfcring.com/.


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