A message from Orange on NFC

There have been many messages about NFC at SIMposium, and I will certainly write about this in the near future. Nevertheless, one of the speakers, Mung Ki Woo from Orange, gave a very refreshing talk, and managed to shake our neurons a bit. He basically made three statements:

  • NFC in mobiles is much more than cards. Dematerialized card applications are just the tip of the iceberg; we think about them because the move simply consists in integrating NFC phones in existing infrastructures. But of course, NFC can host other (new) applications, it can also interact with tags, and even work as a card reader. So, yes, let’s think about these applications.
  • Moving applications from cards to phones does not always degrade security. This is by far the most unusual statement, but it has some truth in it. Even if a SIM card does not provide the same security measures as a banking card, it has other means to enforce security (hey, cards don’t usually include a screen and keyboard).
  • The operator is not just a taxman. This one is less convincing, except for the fact that people hate taxes, and that they are usually very imaginative to find new tax evasion schemes. So, I guess that operators have to find themselves another role.

What makes that even more interesting is his CV and current position. He is VP, Payment and Contactless at FT-Orange, and he has worked at SFPMEI in the past (interbanking entity involved in Moneo, the French electronic purse). This of course makes his remarks for the least interesting, and adds a little credibility to his message.

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