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Todd Ablowitz, a Centennial, Colo.-based consultant who follows mobile payments, says the new software could lend impetus to NFC, a technology that has suffered from business disputes between banks and carriers and a paucity of handsets incorporating NFC chips. “This …is another very important milestone towards mass adoption,” he says in an e-mail message. “Think of it this way… the harder it is and the more development is needed to get an NFC chip to integrate into the day to day operations of the world’s stakeholders (carriers, issuers, card brands, etc), the longer it will be until the market takes off.”

The software comes from one company, NXP, that helped invent NFC early in the last decade (when it was known as Philips Semiconductor) and provides NFC chipsets. G&D, a smart card manufacturer, also makes SIM cards for mobile phones. The newly announced software includes an application programming interface (API) allowing the NFC chipset to communicate with the SIM card, which some mobile carriers prefer to use as the so-called secure element housing virtual payment cards and other media.

Digital Transactions, February 17, 2011