It's no secret that RIM hasn't had the best couple of years financially, seeing how the public’s interest has shifted away from its BlackBerry smartphones toward the iPhone and devices running Android (News - Alert). As such, the company has been venturing out into other areas of the mobile world. One such venture is its trusted service management (TSM) platform, Secure Element Manager (SEM) for near field communication (NFC) mobile payments.
Well, it would appear that SEM may soon become a reality, as the technology was recently approved by Visa.
"The approval from Visa of RIM's SEM solution is an important step in that it will enable carriers to support Visa issuing banks and financial institutions," said Frank Maduri, senior director of NFC Services and TSM Product Management at RIM, in a statement. "We now offer carriers a robust solution with around-the-clock global support that works on any NFC-capable device, and meets the stringent technology and usability guidelines for Visa."
Indeed, this is a crucial step for RIM, but not its last, as the company has an uphill battle ahead of it against the four big SIM providers which have already approved TSM platforms. For now though, this approval has proven beneficial for the company, as its share price rose six percent when the news broke out.
Furthermore, RIM may be able to leverage its reputation at providing superior mobile security to get its foot in the door.
NFC requires a secure element to be used for payment, and there are two ways to accomplish this: with the secure element in the NFC radio itself, or in the phone's SIM card, as network operators prefer to do it. RIM has a lot of experience building NFC into its BlackBerry (News - Alert) handsets, including that necessary secure element. As such, the company's TSM is capable of managing content across both secure elements, making it uniquely positioned in the TSM market.
Indeed, with the launch of BB10 in two weeks, RIM will be demonstrating how to get more than just tap-to-pay capability out of an NFC chip, making its new range of smartphones even more important for the company than previously thought.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo
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