French tech consultancy FIME is partnering with cybersecurity provider Thales e-Security to encourage use of Host Card Emulation technology for contactless mobile payments.

The companies will provide training and testing of HCE technology and its security for Near Field Communication providers and card-issuing banks.

FIME will concentrate on HCE training, specification development and support, while Florida-based Thales provides security pre-assessment, evaluation and certification.

"This is a new and rapidly evolving technology," Stephanie El Rhomri, NFC and payments business line manager at FIME, stated in a Feb. 26 press release. "Service providers can draw on this partnership's collective expertise to develop and launch fully functional, secure cloud-based NFC mobile services quicker, cheaper and more simply."

HCE allows any application to initiate contactless NFC payments without requiring access to the handset's secure element.

The cloud-based technology is enjoying momentum in payments, as developers see its next phases potentially bringing loyalty and rewards seamlessly to NFC payments at the point of sale.

MasterCard also said this week it is deploying mobile wallets in 15 countries utilizing HCE technology.

FIME became qualified as an NFC certifier through the NFC Forum last month, and had a lab qualified as an NFC testing site in North America for Visa in July of 2014. 

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