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  • Editing Team 18:11 on December 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , standard   

    HKAB Issues NFC Payment Standards 


    The Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB) has issued Best Practice for NFC Mobile Payment in Hong Kong, a set of common standards and best practices that aims to help establish an interoperable, as well as safe and effective, NFC mobile payment infrastructure.

    The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), a division of the Hong Kong government, will take into account the security requirements outlined in the document when supervising banks’ NFC mobile payment services.

    The best practices and standards have been developed by the HKMA and HKAB over the past eight months and cover three areas:

    ■Security — ensuring the security of e-wallets and the payment process, and thereby the security of services.

    ■Standards — establishing technical standards with reference to widely applied industry and international standards to enable interoperability between different NFC infrastructures, mobile devices and terminals and the continued development of NFC mobile payment services.

    ■Operational process — introducing a standardized operational process to enhance the user experience.

    The document builds on a study into NFC payments, commissioned by the HKMA in July 2012, which led to an initial report in March 2013.

    “Best Practice will allow banks and their business partners to further develop and launch new services based on a set of common guidelines and technical standards,” says HKMA deputy chief executive Peter Pang. “It will enable them to move towards the four long-term objectives laid down by the HKMA at the beginning of this year and to achieve interoperability among different services.”

  • Editing Team 10:35 on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , standard   

    Obstacles in the Way of RFID Development —-Industries Must Come Together and Agree on Standards 

    standard-development-RFID-blogThis year, more and more companies have carried out successful projects which convince customers that RFID does what it’s advertised to do — help track and manage physical assets, tools, people, inventory, and so on. They are now entering the market to buy and deploy systems. This is a big change from the past decade, when businesses would spend averagely three years testing RFID before deploying a single reader.

    Some people may thus think that the market is finally ready to take off. Although the development of RFID deployments will probably grow steadily in the following years, mass adoption is still years off in some industries. Here’s the reason why.

    For an industry to embrace a new technology in a big way — think of barcodes in the 1980s, the Internet in the late 1990s and cell phones in the 2000s — there must be a standard on which everyone agrees. If Wal-Mart had chosen to employ one type of barcode in the 1980s and K-Mart had opted to utilize a different kind, barcodes would not have become ubiquitous. If some companies had embraced Ethernet and others had supported Token Ring and still others Token Bus as the protocol for sharing data over wires, the Internet might never have taken off.

    In the world of apparel retail — and maybe all retail — there is a general consensus that passive UHF technology is the best form of RFID for tracking inventory, both in stores and in the supply chain. As a result, retailers can jump on the RFID bandwagon without worrying that the technology they invest in today will be obsolete in three or four years. Consequently, adoption in apparel will probably accelerate at an increasingly fast rate.

    In other sectors, it is a different story. Take health care for example. The benefits of using RFID-based real-time location system (RTLS) technology to track expensive hospital equipment are well-documented, yet we haven’t seen a mad scramble among hospitals to deploy RTLS solutions. One big reason is that there is no clear standard. Wi-Fi-based active RFID systems are installed throughout many hospitals globally. But there are many hospitals that are using RTLS solutions based on ZigBee, proprietary active RFID or ultrasound technology. Which one will dominate? It’s difficult to say at this point, so some hospitals are reluctant to invest.

    RFID can help all hospitals reduce costs and improve patient care — if executives come together and draft standards. Ideally, they would agree on one type of active, passive UHF and passive HF technologies, each for different applications. It also would be useful if they agreed on data standards, so that the serial number on a gurney tag, for example, would indicate that the object was a gurney and to which hospital it belonged. That way, hospital A could receive a patient from hospital B and read the tags on the equipment entering that facility and know where it came from, as well as what it was. This would enable all hospitals to deploy RFID and be able to identify not only their own assets, but also those from other hospitals and health-care equipment rental companies.

    In addition, other industries could benefit from standards for the use of RFID. You might think it unlikely that competitors would come together to agree on how to use RFID, but it has already happened in a number of industries. The retail-consumer products goods sector created a subgroup under the aegis of GS1 to draft standards indicating not just what a tagged object is, but where it was read and the business process involved, such as shipping, receiving, merchandising and so forth. Similarly, the aerospace sector came together under the Air Transport Association to create RFID standards under Spec 2000, a comprehensive set of e-business specifications, products and services designed to overcome challenges that have plagued the industry’s supply chain for decades.

    Industry leaders need to step up and understand that while the value of RFID used internally is significant, the value of employing it among business partners is much greater — because, as we all know, assets, tools, equipment, containers, parts, inventory and products don’t remain just within your own four walls.

  • Editing Team 14:54 on November 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: interface, , , standard   

    NFC Forum Released New NFC Controller Interface Specification 

    NFC-Forum-Controller-Interface-specification-NCI-rfid-blogThe NFC Forum has released its NFC Controller Interface (NCI) specification, which defines a standard interface within an NFC device between an NFC controller and the device’s main application processor.

    With the new specification, device manufacturers can easily integrate chipsets from various chip manufacturers. The specification also defines a common level of functionality and interoperability among the components comprised within an NFC-enabled device.

    Previously, device manufacturers had to create proprietary, device-specific interface controllers to manage interactions between the device’s CPU and the NFC chip. The significance of the NCI specification is: that manufacturers will have access to a standard interface that can be applied to any kind of NFC-enabled device they construct, be it mobile phones, PCs, tablets, printers, consumer electronics or appliances.

    Building to a universal standard will also enable manufacturers to bring NFC-enabled products to the marketplace faster than ever before. The NCI specification allows for control and management of the RF communication function offered by a device’s NFC controller — which is implemented according to the corresponding NFC Forum specifications.

    The new NCI provides users with a logical interface that supports a number of different physical transports including UART, SPI and I2C. The NCI also supports routing traffic to other secure elements within the device such as ETSI-HCI or ISO/IEC 7816.

    The NCI specification is the latest addition to the Forum’s 21 published technical documents, which include certification, application and technical specifications documents. The new NCI specification is now free to download on the Forum’s website.

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