TransCard, DeviceFidelity Mobile Wallet

TransCard, DeviceFidelity Look to MicroSD for New Mobile Wallet

11/30/2012
Paybefore Mobile

Paybefore Mobile 

TransCard, DeviceFidelity Look to MicroSD for New Mobile Wallet

Processor and program manager TransCard is teaming up with NFC technology provider DeviceFidelity to offer a new white-label mobile wallet that will use microSD chips to overcome the dearth of NFC-enabled mobile phones currently in the U.S. market. And while widespread availability of NFC-enabled phones is on the horizon, microSD isn’t likely to be going anywhere soon, the companies say.

The mobile wallet takes TransCard’s existing MasterCard prepaid program and expands it to mobile, enabling banks and financial institutions of all sizes to offer branded mobile wallet functionality to their customers. Cardholders at all existing TransCard client institutions will be able to download an app and register their existing cards to access mobile services including balance info, transaction history, card-to-card transfer and a reload location finder. “TransCard enables financial institutions to offer non-traditional transaction products and this venture embodies that mission,” said TransCard CEO Craig Fuller.

The wallet will rely on microSD chips that equip existing mobile phones with the capability to make NFC payments—providing a “bridge” from today’s lack of NFC-enabled phones to a future in which all mobile devices are equipped with NFC, says Youri Bebic, general manager for prepaid programs, DeviceFidelity. “Three years from now, 100 percent of phones will be NFC,” predicts Bebic, noting that NFC technology has functions beyond payments, such as phone-to-phone data sharing. But even once NFC phones achieve ubiquity, he says, microSD chips will remain a useful method for card issuers that want to brand their own mobile wallets rather than existing within a wallet branded by a mobile operator or a major bank. “The small banks that will still want to control issuance of NFC can use a microSD chip that has the credential of the bank,” Bebic tells Paybefore. “A solution like this is the only option through which small FIs can have access” to their own branded wallets, he notes.

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