In the world of plastic cards, if a consumer loses one card, every card linked to that account must be canceled. That isn't the case with mobile wallets.
Total System Services Inc., working with card issuer Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, introduced its new NFC products for North America as an enhancement of the payment processor's "connected mobility" project.
The new product allows an issuer to link a consumer's traditional bank account to any new NFC-enabled form, whether it is a plastic card, a sticker or a mobile wallet on a smartphone, says Paul Bridgewater, group executive of global product for TSYS.
NFC Payment Solution provides an identification feature that allows banks to know how many NFC devices an individual cardholder has in operation. The service provides re-issuing capabilities that enable the bank to block the specific form factor that the consumer may have lost or had stolen, Bridgewater says.
"If the consumer calls and says he lost his NFC-enabled plastic card, the bank can ask if they still have the NFC mobile wallet in use on their phone," Bridgewater says. "If they still have the phone in use, the bank can block use in only the plastic card."
Because a consumer account in the past did not link with multiple form factors, the TSYS service of being able to block only one factor represents a new concept that banks will likely embrace, says David Kaminsky, analyst for emerging payments with Mercator Advisory Group.
"It would be very useful, as opposed to scrapping an entire account because a card was lost," Kaminsky says. "It makes it easier for the issuer and consumer to be able to use the account while going through the process of changing it."
TSYS realizes that it is a good time to help banks easily convert their customers to NFC-enabled accounts because the technology is being used for other purposes in a variety of consumer devices, including laptop computers and video game systems.
"Even if a payments function is a few years off, more NFC-enabled phones will be on the market because of the popularity of these other functions," Kaminsky says. "In that way, TSYS is helping the banks start preparing for NFC as a common payments form in the future."
Columbus, Ga.-based TSYS has long studied the development of NFC and determined it was time to make NFC Payment Solution available to clients, partly because NFC has grown significantly as an accepted payments technology in Canada, Bridgewater says.
"Frankly, we have been watching this payments space for some time, trying to understand if NFC was really going to be widely adopted," Bridgewater says. "We felt that now is a good time to make our NFC products commercially available to the issuers."
TSYS' offering enables real-time mobile account creation, mobile device identification and the creation of the EMV data necessary to provision a mobile device.
"Essentially, it is a full web-based service that enables an issuer to request creation of mobile accounts through packets of data to be used by a Trusted Service Manager to convert the consumer's account securely to one with an NFC-enabled chip," Bridgewater says.