Research In Motion (RIM) (RIMM)(RIM.TO) today announced that it has been selected by EnStream LP, a joint venture of Bell Mobility Inc., Rogers Wireless Partnership and TELUS Communications Company, to provide its Secure Element Manager (SEM) solution to manage credentials on wireless handsets in Canada that support Near Field Communication (NFC) services. NFC is the technology that can make secure, convenient and contactless mobile payments a reality for Canadian wireless handset users.
RIM's SEM solution is designed to securely manage credentials on SIM (subscriber identity module) cards installed in all types of mobile devices, including BlackBerry(R) smartphones, Android(TM) devices, and Windows phones. "We selected RIM for their long-standing relationships with mobile operators and financial institutions, and their track record of operating a secure network for connected services," said Almis Ledas, Chief Operating Officer of EnStream. "By adopting the secure GSMA Global Platform standard and using SEM infrastructure hosted and operated by RIM, consumers and financial institutions can have full confidence in financial credentials enabled through EnStream."
"More than 1 in 4 smartphones shipped worldwide in 2013 is expected to include NFC technology," said senior practice director Jeff Orr of market intelligence firm ABI Research. "With an additional 5 million NFC-enabled smartphones shipping to Canada next year and upwards of 65 million over the next 5 years, consumers will increasingly turn to mobile payments instead of a separate debit or credit card."
"RIM is very pleased to play a key role in this Canadian mobile payments solution," said Andrew MacLeod, Managing Director for Canada at RIM. "Working with EnStream, we're delivering a service that will enable speed, security and convenience in mobile, contactless payment. RIM's SEM solution will help deliver mobile payments and other NFC services to all carriers across all handset platforms that support NFC technology in Canada."
Through the infrastructure that RIM's SEM solution provides, financial institutions in Canada will have a single gateway allowing them to support any customer with an NFC-enabled smartphone that wants to enable a "mobile wallet" application. RIM's SEM solution provides the infrastructure that will securely manage information credentials for NFC payments, which can be used by any financial institution, carrier, or smartphone.
"For banks and for Canadian consumers, RIM's SEM solution is designed to make payment with your smartphone both seamless and secure. Whether you're filling your gas tank, picking up a coffee, or buying groceries, making a purchase will be as simple as tapping your smartphone," added MacLeod.
RIM has been recognized as a leader in providing mobile payments for some time with BlackBerry smartphones becoming one of the first smartphones to be certified for SIM-secure NFC payments using MasterCard PayPass(R), and are also approved for use with Visa(R) payWave. More recently, RIM announced the ability to use NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphones to replace access badges for buildings with secure entry requirements.
Currently, a range of BlackBerry(R) 7 smartphones, including the BlackBerry(R) Bold(TM) series and select BlackBerry(R) Curve(TM) smartphones, are NFC-enabled.