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Marianne Crowe, Susan Pandy, and Elisa Tavilla, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Cynthia Jenkins, NACHA1

May 2, 2013

At the time the white paper was writte n, Cynthia (Me rritt) Je nkins was e mploye d at the Fe deral Reserve Bank of


The authors would like to thank the me mbe rs of the Mobile Payme nts Industry Workgroup for the ir valuable
contributions to the work e ffort and insightful ideas and comme nts that are the foundation of this pape r. The vie ws
e xpresse d in this pape r are sole ly those of the authors and do not re fle ct official positions of the Fe deral Rese rve
Banks of Atlanta or Boston, the Fe deral Re serve System or NACHA.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary ....................................................................................................................3


Changes in the U.S. Mobile Payments Ecosystem: 1Q2011 to 4Q2012 ...........................................4
Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) .................................................................................................5
Smartphone/Terminal Manufacturers and Mobile Operating System Providers....................................5
Payment Processors and Alternative Payment Service Providers ........................................................6
Payment Cards and ACH Networks..................................................................................................7
Financial Institutions .......................................................................................................................8
Consumers.................................................................................................................................... 11
Regulators .................................................................................................................................... 11
Summary ...................................................................................................................................... 13

III. Progress Towards Achieving Benefits ........................................................................................ 13
Improved Security and Fraud Reduction ......................................................................................... 13
Merchant Cost Efficiency .............................................................................................................. 15
Competitive Technologies ............................................................................................................. 16
Value-Added Services ................................................................................................................... 17
Revenue and Monetization Opportunities........................................................................................ 18
Data Privacy ................................................................................................................................. 18
IV. Update of Original Strategic Principles ....................................................................................... 19
Open wallet concept has evolved to include both mobile and digital wallets ...................................... 20
Convergence of multiple technology platforms for mobile payments ............................................... 20
Establish a ubiquitous platform for existing and new clearing and settlement rails ............................. 21
Dynamic data authentication provides long-term integrity and security for transactions across all
channels ....................................................................................................................................... 21
Develop and adopt a global interoperable platform in the U.S. for mobile payment standards and
certification of payment methods.................................................................................................... 22
Neutral Trusted Service Managers (TSMs) to oversee the provision of shared security elements used in
the mobile phone........................................................................................................................... 23
Regulatory Clarity......................................................................................................................... 24
Understanding the Role of Nonbanks in the Mobile Payments Ecosystem......................................... 24
Summary of Principles .................................................................................................................. 25

Long-term Vision ..................................................................................................................... 25

Ongoing Technology Advancements will Alter the Mobile Payments Landscape .............................. 25
Mobile and Digital Wallets will Co-Exist........................................................................................ 26
Increasing Channel Convergence ................................................................................................... 26
Big Data Monetization withRisk Management Oversight ................................................................. 26
VI. Conclusion ............................................................................................................................... 27
Next Steps for the MPIW............................................................................................................... 27
Appendix: MPIW Activity 2011-2012 ............................................................................................... 28


Executive Summary

In 2010, the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston and Atlanta (FRB), through their Payment Strategies and
Retail Payments Risk Forum groups, convened the first Mobile Payments Industry Workgroup (MPIW)2
to discuss the benefits and obstacles to developing a successful U.S. retail mobile payments system. The
MPIW meets with the FRB three to four times per year to discuss mobile industry developments and
related issues. In response to expanded use of mobile payments and increasing interest among mobile
stakeholders, the FRB expanded the MPIW’s scope in 2012 to enable broader participation from groups
with a specific interest in mobile payments adoption such as merchants, vendors, start-ups and regulators.
The FRB will maintain this approach to ensure ongoing comprehensive discussion within the MPIW that
encompasses prospective issues of collective concern.
After multiple meetings during 2010 and 2011, the group dialogues were captured in a white paper
published in March 2011, Mobile Payments in the United States: Mapping out the Road Ahead.3 Since
the first paper was published, the mobile payments industry has undergone considerable changes.
Notable changes include increasing convergence of channels that has blurred the lines between online and
physical commerce. A broad range of technology developments are accelerating this convergence,
including mobility, analytics, cloud, broadband and social networks.
The mobile device has become a pivotal driver in creating a dynamic marketplace that is bringing diverse
companies and sectors together, both as competitors and collaborators and across traditional boundaries of
industry and technology. Such changes have expanded the possibilities for new products, services and
types of companies in this emergent commerce environment. The mobile device has introduced unique
qualities such as the portability of the technology and additional factors inherent to the mobile device,
including multimedia services, GPS, Internet access, mobile telephony, camera, and social media, which
could all impact the payments environment.
In the retail payments space, these dynamic changes have created a market that offers digital and mobile
wallets, near field communication (NFC) and cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solutions, mobile apps, and
Quick Response (QR) barcodes. The merging of these technologies with platforms (POS, online, other
remote), uses (consumer-to-business (C2B), person-to-person (P2P)), new payment methods (virtual
prepaid, direct carrier billing (DCB)), and many cross-industry players further changes the market for
Use of the MPIW in this pape r re presents the existing workgroup or a modifie d ve rsion of the group in the future .
The original MPIW include d 22 me mbe rs, re presenting various mobile payments industry sectors, and now has 42
members, including several merchants. MPIW me mber information can be found at
http://www.bostonfe x.htm.
3 http://www.bostonfe -payments-mapping.htm.


mobile payments. Large banks are collaborating through joint ventures, partnerships, consortiums, and
bilateral relationships with mobile network operators (MNOs), card networks, retailers, mobile solution
providers, and well-funded innovative start-ups to implement numerous mobile payment solutions. In
some instances, stakeholders are experimenting with multiple approaches to see what consumers will use,
and what merchants will accept.
These rapidly developing innovations in the mobile payments landscape created the need for the FRB and
MPIW to update the original white paper to inform the payments industry concerning the evolution of a
ubiquitous mobile payments system. The new report reflects what the FRB has learned from the MPIW,
with the intent that it could inform policymakers and regulators, as well as the mobile payments industry. 4
The key findings note that while the mobile landscape remains characterized by fragmentation, various
developments have gained importance. These include the convergence of channels, the role of nonbanks,
the formation of new relationships, the unresolved security and privacy issues, and the increasing role of
data monetization. As this ecosystem matures it will challenge new entrants in their ability to achieve
scale and sustainability, while technology will continue to proliferate and drive improved efficiencies and
innovation. The need for interoperability, industry guidance, and standards will become even more
critical to ensure a secure and cost-efficient ecosystem. Creation of an open model could become a means
to a secure an interoperable mobile payment system capable of building scale through consumer and
merchant adoption. However, in this competitive and rapidly innovating market, new solutions have not
waited for a uniform open model to become available.
Based on these findings, the MPIW updated the original strategic principles and introduced new themes.
The paper expands on the benefits and challenges marking the landscape in light of recent developments
and examines earlier considerations to determine if they are still relevant based on the many changes in
the mobile payments marketplace. Finally, the paper revisits the long-term vision for POS mobile
payments, including risk and regulatory concerns, along with implications for all stakeholders.

Changes in the U.S. Mobile Payments Ecosystem: 1Q2011 to 4Q2012

This section provides an overview of the accomplishments and challenges faced by primary mobile
stakeholders over the last two years and outlines new infrastructures and capabilities offered in this span
of time. The discussion includes the following stakeholders: MNOs, smartphone/terminal manufacturers,


This pape r provide s the MPIW’s assessment of the state of the U.S. mobile payments industry, but doe s not re fle ct

any agre ement among the MPIW members as to the manner in which mobile payme nts may be transacted.


mobile operating system providers, payment processors, alternative payment service providers, card and
ACH networks, financial institutions (FIs), merchants, regulators and consumers.
In the last two years, MNOs have partnered with banks, card networks and technology companies to pilot
mobile payment solutions. New business models have emerged more quickly than some MPIW members
had originally expected. For example, three of the largest MNOs formed an NFC mobile wallet joint
venture (Isis) with several FIs and a card network. Sprint partnered with Google and Citi to launch
Google Wallet. 5 Because MNOs typically subsidize and certify handsets on their networks, they have
maintained control over which service providers can access the secure element 6 on mobile phones in their
networks, although not without consequences to mobile service providers and ultimately to consumers by
limiting their access in some cases. 7
The mobile carrier’s approach has some historical context. Before Apple and Google introduced their
smartphone platforms and app stores, mobile subscribers were limited by their MNO in terms of
applications that could be downloaded to their mobile phones and how the apps could be purchased (a.k.a.
the “walled garden”). The introduction of app stores managed by Apple and Google, and the quick
consumer acceptance of these app stores changed this mobile app dynamic. These factors reduced the
MNOs’ leverage and control of software on the handsets and gave customers options and capabilities that
were unavailable through the MNO ecosystem.
Smaller mobile carriers have yet to engage in POS mobile payments, but some are exploring opportunities
to address the needs of the unbanked and underbanked consumer markets with prepaid phones, mobile
financial services, and other innovative use cases.
Smartphone/Terminal Manufacturers and Mobile Operating System Providers
The Google Android and Apple iOS mobile operating systems continue to have the largest share of
smartphone subscribers, with 52.3 percent and 37.8 percent respectively. 8 While few mobile phones are
currently enabled for use with either SIM or embedded NFC secure elements, more handset
manufacturers are including these capabilities as a basic component. At the end of 2011, 45 global
Google Walle t is a partnership be tween Sprint, Google , Citibank and MasterCard. Isis Walle t is a consortium
comprising AT&T, Ve rizon, T-Mobile , Chase, Capital One , Discover, Barclaycard, Visa, MasterCard and Ame rican
Expre ss.
6 A se cure e lement is an e ncrypted smart card chip e mbedde d in a mobile phone that safely stores and e xecutes
mobile payme nt applications and stores associated payment crede ntials and financial data.
7 At this time , only se le cted Android phone s work with the two walle ts. The Apple iPhone is not NFC-e nable d.
8 As of the date of this publication. Se e -top-smartphone-and-ios-gaining/.


handset manufacturers announced plans to add NFC/SIM cards to their mobile phones,9 and Isis planned
to have up to 20 NFC-enabled mobile phones available by the end of 2012. 10 Assuming that MNOs
activate NFC in the handsets, these efforts could begin to alleviate some barriers to adoption of NFC
mobile payments.
Early industry expectations assumed that the majority of POS terminals would have been upgraded to
accept contactless NFC payments by 2013. For several reasons this has not been the case. The three big
terminal manufacturers, Verifone, Ingenico, and Equinox, have incorporated NFC functionality into their
new POS terminals, but merchant implementation has been slow. 11 Rolling out new hardware to enable
NFC on every POS terminal, changing POS software, and upgrading POS terminals to support NFC is not
only costly, but also an operational challenge. While implementation of the Google and Isis NFC mobile
wallets may have helped gain traction with some merchants, many others still must decide if and when to
invest in upgrading their POS terminals to NFC.
Payment Processors and Alternative Payment Service Providers
Payment processors, online payment service providers, mobile software solution vendors, and application
and hardware developers are exploring new market opportunities and innovations in the mobile payments
space, ranging from digital wallets to dongle plug-in smartphone card readers. They continue to provide
the enabling technology for mobile payments or to serve as intermediaries in the payments supply chain.
Google’s first mobile wallet stored payment credentials issued by Citi MasterCard in a secure element
embedded in the mobile phone. Google adapted its business model in response to limited transaction
volume and introduced a hybrid mobile/digital wallet that stored a virtual MasterCard number associated
with the mobile phone in the secure element. The virtual card does not correspond to any specific
payment card account, but is a proxy for the real account credentials stored in the cloud and is used for
NFC transactions at the POS. This change enabled Google Wallet customers to store and pay with credit
and debit card credentials issued by any FI. It also demonstrated Google’s flexibility and capacity to
adapt quickly to overcome barriers in the market. In contrast, FIs cannot adapt as quickly to market
changes because of competing needs for resources and funding within their organizations, impacts to
legacy systems, financial impacts to their interchange revenue, and regulatory requirements.

GSMA a nnounce d at its Mobile Asia Congress that it has commitments from 45 MNOs worldwide to imple me nt
SIM-based NFC. Se e -ope rators-commit-to-nfc/.
10 Se e http://www.wire tlab/2012/10/isis-sets-oct-22-launch-date/. The Isis Walle t use s a SIM-based secure
e le ment; Google Walle t uses an e mbedded se cure ele ment.
11 Se e w-point-of-sale-terminals-will-ge t-nfc/ and
http://www.fine ws/fullstory.aspx?newsitemid=23494.


Apple took a different approach and chose not to deploy NFC for the iPhone. Instead, Apple created a
non-payment app-based mobile wallet called Passbook that serves as a repository for boarding passes,
movie tickets, retail coupons, and loyalty cards. Passbook provides a platform that supports third-party
integrations, including digital wallet providers, for a closed-loop network of merchants. It enables
customers to select, download and store QR codes from registered merchants’ apps and access them as
needed to pay at the POS or at a barcode scanner. By storing non-payment accounts on their mobile
phones consumers can reduce the need to carry paper or plastic.
The convergence of online, mobile, and physical POS channels has provided alternative payment
providers with the opportunity to develop solutions and applications that leverage a range of technologies,
such as cloud, QR codes, and geo-fencing. 12 Unlike NFC, cloud-based and QR code technologies are less
dependent on mobile carriers because they rely on software that does not store payment information on
the mobile device, and therefore does not require access to the mobile network. However, Internet access
is typically necessary to complete a transaction.
Payment Cards and ACH Networks
Credit: The major U.S. credit card networks face growing competition from other mobile stakeholders.
They continue to actively pursue multiple mobile payment efforts to gain market share. In recent years,
the card networks have introduced a variety of strategic initiatives and acquisitions that demonstrate the
importance they place on mobile in both developed and developing countries. They have leveraged their
ability to connect services through their standardized global networks. They have formed strategic
partnerships with MNOs, issuers, merchants and mobile payment technology vendors, as well as
investing in mobile start-ups. They have been complementing plastic cards with mobile payments at the
POS, with prepaid, transit, and P2P. A notable change over the past two years is their new focus on
cloud-based digital wallets and merchant loyalty programs. And, while following different strategic paths
to implementation of mobile payments, the card networks continue to promote and support NFC,
approving more NFC mobile phones for their services globally, participating in the Google and Isis
mobile wallet programs in the U.S., and engaging in NFC initiatives in Europe and Asia. 13

12 In the cloud mode l, payme nt credentials are stored in a re mote file se rver (cloud), not in the se cure e lement in the
mobile phone . In one use case, a consumer registers and the n pays for purchases by e ntering his mobile phone
numbe r and PIN at the me rchant POS te rminal. Some cloud-based digital walle ts use location-based te chnology in
the mobile phone . Ge o-fencing le verages location-based services (such as GPS and RFID) to cre ate a virtual
pe rime ter in which a mobile de vice can be recognized and a notification ge nerated. For e xample , Square uses ge ofe ncing to notify a me rchant whe n a customer has entered the store.
13 According to one mobile payments stake holde r, “NFC is still the fastest, quicke st and best user e xperience. It is the
le ast clunky and works in diffe re nt e nvironments with no conne ctivity. NFC is fit for the purpose , which is NFC
payme nts.” James Ande rson, SVP Mobile , MasterCard, NFC Times, Nove mbe r 7, 2012.


Debit/Prepaid: Debit card networks are experiencing growth in mobile payment transactions processed
through virtual prepaid access accounts, prepaid card systems and online payment providers. Online and
mobile prepaid options offer the unbanked and underbanked access to financial services without requiring
a traditional bank account. Two recent major prepaid initiatives include Green Dot, which in 2012
purchased a bank and introduced its GoBank account,14 and Bluebird, a digital/mobile prepaid account
offered by American Express and distributed through Walmart. 15 As prepaid products grow, the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other regulators will continue to monitor their
progress because of concerns about excessive fees and lack of transparency for consumers regarding such
fees and other card usage terms and conditions. Any potential regulatory actions should be evaluated to
determine their impact to the growth of prepaid debit accounts and the prepaid debit model for mobile
ACH: ACH is a major payment network that competes with card networks in the United States. Only
recently have mobile ecosystem stakeholders begun to actively consider ACH as a viable alternative in
the mobile/digital wallet evolution. Use of the ACH network for mobile payments continues to grow as a
segment of online ACH payments. Currently, the majority of these transactions are comprised of bill
payments. FIs and non-bank payment providers are developing Internet and mobile applications to
implement P2P payment products that are processed via the ACH network, creating opportunity for future
growth as more consumers use their smartphone apps and browsers for mobile P2P and Internet
purchases. Several companies in the mobile payments ecosystem are pursuing solutions that leverage the
ACH network to clear and settle mobile payments and offer ACH to consumers as an alternative payment
method for retail purchases. This use of the ACH at the POS also responds to merchant demands for less
costly alternatives to credit and debit. Ultimately, the ACH will be another component for expanding
consumer choice in the future, particularly for recipients of electronic benefits and transfers (EBT) and
other government benefit payments.
Financial Institutions
FIs face many competitive pressures from other banks and nonbanks, particularly as the banking industry
tries to determine its role in the fast-paced mobile payments environment.

FIs’ current moderate

GoBank is an FDIC-insure d mobile -only bank that is accessible using a mobile app. It include s a Visa de bit card
linke d to a traditional che cking account, but it doe s not issue checks. GoBank has been available in limite d launch

since January 2013. Se e
Blue bird is an FDIC-insured alte rnative to de bit and che cking accounts that can be linke d to a mobile app which
allows consumers to make mobile de posits to the ir pre paid account, make mobile bill payme nts, or send P2P


payme nts. See


approach to implementing mobile payment solutions stems from the economic consequences, uncertainty,
and risk aversion created by the recent financial crisis and in response to broad financial regulatory
reform. The largest FIs have taken different, but overlapping, strategic directions and approaches to
building their business models. A few have participated in NFC wallet initiatives through collaboration
with card networks and MNOs. Beyond NFC, FIs have also formed relationships with start-ups to test
other mobile payment solutions such as cloud-based digital wallets, QR codes and mobile device card
acceptance applications for small businesses. Financial institutions are simultaneously expanding their
mobile banking platforms to include mobile remote deposit capture (mRDC), P2P payments, and
corporate mobile banking services. P2P payments have helped FIs expand their role as a facilitator of
mobile commerce by enabling money transfers between FIs or through retail payment networks. 16
Financial institutions have the chance to leverage their reputation as trusted payment providers and
effective risk managers to strengthen their role in the mobile payments ecosystem. Various studies have
shown that consumers have more trust in mobile payment solutions driven by FIs and/or credit card
companies than alternative providers. 17 Financial institutions have broad experience that puts them at an
advantage to drive and shape consumer acceptance – from due diligence, know your customer,
authentication and authorization, corporate security, fraud monitoring and prevention tools, risk
management policies and systems, to anti-money laundering tools. Partnering with viable nonbank
mobile ventures can complement the FIs’ strengths and generate innovation, technology and a better
understanding of the market dynamics. Strong customer marketing and communication efforts can also
help FIs succeed in the mobile space. However, if FIs cannot leverage their unique advantage as the
trusted entity for consumer mobile payments, they risk being viewed by other participants simply as a
utility that provides the transactions.
Since the inception of the MPIW, merchants have expressed concerns related to the overall business case
for mobile payments. Their concerns stem from the expanse of costs in comparison to the benefits of
rolling out mobile contactless payments.

These costs include, but are not limited to, processing,

investment in terminal upgrades, chargebacks from card payments, security (including PCI compliance),

Example s include cle arXchange, a ne twork be twe en Bank of Ame rica, Wells Fargo and Citi that allows custome rs
to se nd and re ce ive P2P payments e lectronically, and Fise rv’s PopMoney.
17 Jave lin Strategy & Re search (March 2012). Gang of Four (and Possibly Five) Apple, Google,
Facebook, Amazon – and PayPal: Positioning for Payments in the New Mobile‐Social Technology Era and 2011 Fise rv
Consume r Tre nds Survey. Beyond Mobile Banking: It’s Time to Stake the Claim for Mobile Payments. Re trie ve d from rv/6153751056/in/photostream.


and EMV implementation.

18 19

In addition to cost considerations, merchants are concerned about rules

and liability shifts that vary depending on how a payment is handled, for example, whether a transaction
will be processed as card-present (CP) or card-not-present (CNP). As such, merchants of all sizes (e.g.,
big box retailer, quick-service restaurants (QSRs), small and micro-businesses), and across various
segments, are experimenting with different mobile payment technologies to build cost-efficient POS
solutions that enhance customer experience and lower costs.
Several retailers are offering closed-loop prepaid account solutions using QR code applications to make
mobile payments. QR codes are non-proprietary and relatively quick and easy to implement. However, a
customer still needs a custom app and QR code for each merchant or group of merchants, who must agree
to a common set of technology standards and/or a common app. Recently, over 30 of the leading U.S.
merchants formed the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX)20 to create a secure mobile platform with a
common set of standards to reduce costs in the payments system, keep merchants’ customer data securely
with merchants, and provide their customers with a better shopping experience. According to public
statements, the MCX solution will utilize barcode technology (i.e. QR codes) for mobile proximity
Many QSRs are heavily franchised making it difficult for them to implement uniform payment solutions.
However, several chain QSRs and drug stores that initially deployed NFC terminals to accept contactless
cards are now leveraging those terminals to accept NFC mobile payments.
Merchants are generally positive about the business case for mobile, but regard it as a more holistic
development of which payments is a small piece. Merchants see mobile as an opportunity to introduce
competition and innovation in the payments market.

18 EMV is a global spe cification for cre dit and de bit payment cards based on chip card te chnology that de fines
re quire ments to e nsure inte roperability be twe en chip-based payment cards and te rminals. EMV chip cards contain
e mbe dded microprocessors that provide strong transaction security fe atures and other application capabilitie s. The
EMV spe cification e ncompasses credit, de bit and contactless (card and mobile ) payment transactions. The primary
use for the se chip-based cards is to pe rform payment transactions that store e ncryption data for authentication. As
part of the transaction authorization, the card uses the data to prove it is authe ntic, thus pre venting the use of stolen
or clone d cards. For more information on EMVCo se e http://www.e
U.S. EMV migration plans accelerated be twe en mid-2011 and e arly 2012 whe n all four major card ne tworks
announce d plans to migrate U.S. me rchants and issuers to a more secure EMV chip payme nt e nvironment –
me rchant acquire rs must be ready by April 2013, liability shift for POS as of April 2015 and for automated fue l
dispe nse rs as of October 2017
20 At the time of publication, MCX include d the following me rchants: 7-Ele ven, Alon Brands, Be d Bath & Be yond,
Be st Buy, CVS/pharmacy, Darden Re staurants, DICK’s Sporting Goods, Dillard’, Dunkin’ Brands, Gap, HMSHost,
Hobby Lobby Store s, Hy-Ve e , Lowe ’s, Me ije r, Michaels Store., Publix Supe r Marke ts, QuikTrip, Se ars, Sheetz, Shell
Oil US, Sunoco, Targe t, Wake fern Food, Wal-Mart and Wawa.


Growing smartphone ownership will influence stronger adoption of mobile banking and payments.21 As
consumers become increasingly adept at using smartphones (e.g., through downloading and using
applications), this will likely lead to an increase in consumer mobile commerce activities, (e.g., using
mobile phones to search the Internet for product reviews and comparing prices) and mobile banking. Use
of mobile banking and related mobile financial services products builds trust and awareness, and
contributes to the willingness of consumers to try emerging mobile payment offerings. 22
Mobile payment services can also help unbanked and underbanked consumers who have access to mobile
phones. Fifty-nine percent of individuals who are unbanked have access to mobile phones, and 50
percent of these phones are smartphones. Notably, 90 percent of the underbanked have mobile phones,
56 percent of which are smartphones. Both of these groups have a higher percentage of smartphone
ownership than the general population. 23 For many of these users, their smartphones represent their
primary connection to the Internet. They can use their smartphones to reload their mobile accounts, make
purchases, deposit checks, and pay bills, alleviating expensive check cashing services and ATM fees.
The growing ubiquity of mobile commerce, coupled with the expanded functionality and greater
convenience of smartphones, provide the framework for driving consumer mobile payment behavior.
However, the primary barriers to adoption remain the limited availability of some technologies (e.g.,
NFC) and concerns with security and privacy. Substantial educational outreach and awareness by the
industry is required because consumers will play a critical role in driving mass adoption of mobile
payments and will likely dictate the sustainability of mobile solutions in the long-term. 24
Mobile payment instruments use the existing payments infrastructure in different ways. Some mobile
payment solutions clearly fall under the scope of existing regulations, while other alternatives using new

21 Pe w Re se arch reports that smartphone owne rship in the Unite d State s is at approximately 46% and growing, while
fe ature phone owne rship is at about 41 pe rcent.
22 Jave lin Strategy & Re search (2012, Se ptember). Battle for Control of Mobile Wallet e stimates that over 60% of
consume rs using mobile banking are like ly to adopt a mobile walle t in the ne xt 12 months. Forrester (2012). State of
Mobile Banking 2012, fore casts that the number of mobile bankers in the U.S. is e xpe cted to double by 2017.
23 Gross, M. B., Rock, A.M., and Schme iser, M.D. (2013, March). Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2013. Board
of Gove rnors of the Fe deral Re serve System. According to the FDIC’s 2011 National Survey of Unbanked and
Underbanked Households, 8.2 pe rce nt (almost 10 million) of U.S. house holds are unbanke d and 20.1 pe rcent (24 million)
are unde rbanke d.
24 For more information on consumer adoption of mobile payments, see Elisa Tavilla. (July 2012). Opportunities and
Challenges to Broad Acceptance of Mobile Payments in the United States. Available at
http://www.bostonfe s-and-challanges-to-broadacceptance-of-mobile -payments.htm.


technologies (e.g., NFC, QR code) may not have an obvious fit and require a better understanding before
regulations might be prescribed. Mobile payment stakeholders perceive that regulators have not kept
pace with mobile payment innovation and that the industry would benefit from more specific guidance
and a legal framework for mobile payment providers. While industry participants acknowledge the
applicability of current regulations and laws to underlying payment methods (credit, debit, prepaid, and
ACH) that govern mobile payments today, they are concerned over the uncertainty related to coverage
and liability responsibilities and a need for enhanced coordination among regulatory bodies. Financial
institutions and related organizations also express concern for participation by nonbanks, including
MNOs and alternative payment providers which may be less familiar with payment banking laws (e.g.,
BSA/AML, KYC, state money transmission licensing, risk compliance, and consumer protection).
The MPIW and representatives from several regulatory agencies 25 met in April 2012 to discuss issues,
concerns, and potential gaps in regulatory coverage. The primary concerns they raised were focused on
consumer protection, privacy, and data security; however, neither the regulatory agencies nor industry
stakeholders concluded that there was an immediate need for additional regulation.

Rather, they

expressed support for clarification of existing regulations and their applicability to mobile payment
service providers in order to increase understanding at the policy level, dispel misperceptions, and focus
collective energies on potential risk vulnerabilities in the mobile channel.

It was suggested that

stakeholders focus on education and communication between the industry and the agencies, while
regulators ensure that industry stakeholders are informed if and when the need for mobile regulation
Given Congress’s high level of interest in mobile payments and attention to the MPIW’s initial white
paper and ongoing work, several Federal Reserve, MPIW, and other mobile payment industry experts
testified at House and Senate hearings in 2012.

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on

Consumer Credit examined the growing trend of mobile payments at a hearing held on March 22, 2012.26
On March 29, 2012, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing,

Re gulators include d the Office of the Comptrolle r of the Currency (OCC), Federal De posit Insurance Corporation
(FDIC), Consumer Financial Prote ction Bure au (CFPB), National Cre dit Union Association (NCUA), Fe de ral Re serve
Board (FRB), Confe rence of State Bank Supe rvisors (CSBS), Washington State De partment of Financial Institutions,
Massachusetts Division of Banking, Fe de ral Trade Commission (FTC) and Fe deral Communications Commission
26 Pane lists include d Rich Olive r, forme rly Exe cutive Vice Pre side nt and dire ctor of the Re tail Payments Risk Forum,
Fe de ral Re serve Bank of Atlanta, and re presentatives from PCI Data Security Standards Council, MasterCard, Smart
Card Alliance and the Consumers Union. Se e nt/10737429273/.


“Developing the Framework for Safe and Efficient Mobile Payments,” 27 and held part two in July 2012. 28
Stephanie Martin, Associate General Counsel, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,
testified on regulation of mobile payments before the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and
Consumer Credit, House Committee on Financial Services on June 29, 2012. She commented that
current payments laws “may not be well-tailored to address the full range of mobile payment services in
the marketplace.” 29
Each primary stakeholder in the mobile payments ecosystem has an innovative approach to how mobile
payment capabilities can be rapidly and reliably developed and implemented. While their efforts have
provided consumers with multiple options, they have complicated the development of interoperable
standards for mobile payments and the widespread adoption of any one mobile payment solution. Given
the fragmented and dynamic market, it is important for the FRB to regularly convene the mobile
stakeholders and other parties, including regulators, to discuss the mobile ecosystem, especially as the
newer solutions evolve.

Progress towards Achieving Benefits

At the end of 2010, the MPIW identified a number of clear benefits of a future U.S. mobile payments
infrastructure that was built on an NFC contactless technology platform. This section evaluates progress
towards achieving benefits such as improved security and fraud reduction, merchant cost efficiency,
competitive technologies, value-added services, revenue and monetization opportunities, and data
privacy, in light of environmental developments in the ecosystem.
Improved Security and Fraud Reduction
The planned migration from today’s mag-stripe environment to more advanced technology introduces the
potential for a more secure payments environment. In the first Mobile Payments Landscape paper, the
MPIW acknowledged the potential for NFC/secure element technology, along with the intelligence and
data storage capabilities of the contactless chip embedded in the mobile phone, to improve authentication

Se e x.cfm?FuseAction=He arings.Hearing&He aring_ID=eab14748-aea3-48f1a4f8-88f49613f0e 1
28 Witne sses include d profe ssors and industry e xpe rts from the Unive rsity of California, Be rkele y, Unive rsity of
Indiana, and Unive rsity of California, Be rke ley School of Law.
29 Witne sses include d Sandra F. Braunstein, Dire ctor, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of
Gove rnors of the Fe deral Re serve System and Ke nneth C. Montgomery, First Vice Pre side nt and Chie f Operating
Office r, Fe deral Re serve Bank of Boston. Se e
http://www.fe de ralre


and reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions. 30 However, it is too soon to attribute any actual fraud
reduction or enhanced security to NFC chip technology or the applications and tools built into the mobile
phone hardware in light of the slow growth of POS mobile payments.

To further complicate the

measurement of mobile-based fraud reduction, alternative mobile technology solutions which are simpler
and less costly for merchants and FIs to deploy have emerged. Examples include QR codes and cloudbased solutions that can store and manage payment credentials remotely, possibly addressing some of the
complexities associated with managing data in the secure element embedded in the mobile device.
The implementation of EMV chip technology in other countries has resulted in decreased card fraud and
is predicted to reduce mobile payments fraud in the future. Most developed countries have already
converted to EMV industry specifications, while the U.S. migration is in the early stages. EMV is
important to the security of NFC card-based mobile payments because NFC uses the underlying EMV
technology infrastructure, and relies on the same dynamic data authentication (DDA) 31 for mobile
payment security. Despite the leadership role of the credit card networks in driving U.S. migration to
EMV card payments, they do not agree on the cardholder verification method, generating a debate about
the level of risk of chip-and-PIN vs. chip-and-signature. 32
While consumer behavior surveys report that privacy and security are consumers’ most important
concerns, in actuality they use their mobile phones to interact quickly with websites, businesses, and other
people, valuing their ability to access social media. Problems stem from consumer failure to adopt
available safeguards such as PINs, passwords, device lock features or anti-virus software. They also
continue to engage in risky behaviors such as opening spam emails and jail-breaking phones, behaviors
that will require change if a wallet containing payment credentials is added to the mobile phone.
Mobile applications downloaded to the handset can expose payment platforms and networks to fraud and
other security risks. The vulnerability posed by mobile applications is largely attributable to a lack of
industry standards.

This situation is somewhat mitigated by moderating oversight from Apple and

30 De spite anecdotes claiming that NFC data can be inte rcepted as the de vice communicates with a te rminal,
mome ntarily e xposing data in transmission or by other sophisticated hacking schemes, the only re ported bre aches
have occurred in lab se ttings, with none re ported in the re al world.
31 DDA use s an e ncryption ke y to ge nerate unique , dynamic data values to authe nticate the transaction whe n it is
authorize d by the card ne twork. The se values are only valid for one authe ntication. If a thie f trie s to re -use the
payme nt account data, it will be out of sync with the numbe r stored by the card issuer and rejected, making it harde r
to skim usable data and clone for counterfeiting
32 Maste rCard supports Chip and PIN as the most secure payment te chnique to provide the gre atest protection
against fraud liability to re taile rs and acquirers. Visa supports a range of cardholde r ve rification methods (CVMs)
with EMV chip, including signature , online PIN and no-signature for low-value , low-risk transactions. Ame rican
Expre ss also supports a range of CVMs with EMV contact chip, including signature , online pin and no-signature for
low-value , low-risk transactions.


Google of their app stores. However, many smaller app stores operate independently in the mobile
ecosystem, with little to no oversight. The major operating systems approach security very differently,
with Android and its open platform characterized as the “Wild West” and Apple as the “Frontier Fort.”
As mobile payment transaction volume increases, the mobile payments channel is expected to become a
more attractive target for criminals. Security providers need to anticipate risks and incorporate automated
mitigation tools where feasible, such as preloading mobile antivirus software on phones, and leveraging
the ability of mobile phones to share real-time data (e.g., location and customer-entered authentication).
The mobile device has a number of security attributes that have the potential to make the mobile channel
more secure than the online channel against fraud and to repel fraud attacks. 33
Many parties are involved in supporting the multi-faceted mobile payments ecosystem. All share in the
responsibility for mitigating mobile payment security and fraud problems. The industry must collaborate
to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities in the mobile payments ecosystem, to share applicable
data, to assess the security gaps in the mobile process, and to assign responsibility for remedying these
gaps. They must also develop interoperable standards, guidelines and rules for newer technologies. The
MPIW is vested in recognizing and/or developing industry-wide solutions to the security challenges
presented by mobile commerce and can leverage its expertise to: (1) identify evolving threats and
vulnerabilities that exist for mobile; (2) address the need for stronger authentication; and (3) advance
security awareness among consumers and industry stakeholders in the mobile payments ecosystem.
Mobile has the potential to provide a safer payments option if leveraged appropriately.
Merchant Cost Efficiency
While merchants would like to use mobile payments as an opportunity to achieve efficiencies,
impediments exist. For example, the traditional card model treats mobile contactless payments as cardnot-present, but a shift to treating such transactions as card-present instead would reduce merchant costs.
Applying mobile wallet fees is another example that may inhibit innovation and add incremental costs. A
number of large and small merchants are still participating in NFC-wallet pilots, but without a strong

33 The se attributes include context, tactile inte rface, sensors, cloud and social me dia. Geo-location can be used to
e nhance authentication and de tect fraudule nt charges. Te chnology is e merging that will le ve rage the sensory fe atures
of swiping or sliding across mobile de vice screens or to authe nticate signatures via the ir touch screens. The tactile
inte rface also ope ns up the possibility of finge rprint ve rification for financial transactions or account logins. Other
fe atures include the camera functionality which can authe nticate users through facial re cognition. All of the se
attribute s can be layered to e nhance security and authentication. Camhi, Jonathan (2012, October 26). Why mobile

will be more secure than online banking. Bank Systems & Technology. Re trie ved from
http://www.bankte -will-be -more-secure-than-onli/240009653?pgno=1.


business model, and ability to reduce the cost of deployment, merchants continue to investigate lowercost alternatives that are not card-based and not supported by NFC.
Migration to EMV is also impacting merchant cost efficiencies because it requires investments to upgrade
terminals. Merchants must weigh the investments against the risk of liability responsibility for counterfeit
fraud associated with mag-stripe data breaches and the benefit of reduced fraud. The MCX model could
help to reduce merchant deployment costs by clearing and settling over a lower cost network such as
ACH, rather than over the more expensive card networks.
Cloud-based payment services may offer merchants cost-effective and rapidly deployable capabilities.
Often cloud-based technology leverages barcode technology and card tokenization to further reduce the
likelihood and costs of dealing with fraud. Tokenization is a technology that enables the payment service
provider to exchange a one-time payment token at the merchant’s e-commerce or POS system to redeem
for payment. On the other hand, barcode technology is a more feasible solution to other mobile payment
technologies from a customer integration perspective. Several mature and start-up companies offer cloudbased payment solutions – which initially serviced small merchants, but are expanding to larger retailers.
Some of these companies are incenting mobile payments with lower fees and loyalty programs.
As merchants develop their strategies for mobile payments, they must consider multiple options related to
hardware, software, choice of technology platform, and how they implement external factors (e.g., EMV).
Some industry stakeholders hope that the inclusion of NFC capability in POS terminals upgraded for
EMV may encourage merchants to adopt mobile contactless payments at the POS. However, merchants
still incur incremental costs to enable NFC and view implementation of EMV and use of NFC for mobile
payments as two distinct investment decisions.

For EMV, merchants want assurances that their

investments are in sync with issuers and mobile operators.34 For mobile payments, merchants must do a
cost-benefit analysis on whether to buy an NFC-enabled terminal, whether to enable NFC functionality,
and what payment brands to accept.
Competitive Technologies
The current mobile payments ecosystem depicts a fragmented market, rather than a cohesive interoperable
mobile payments approach.

The various emerging technologies have the potential to benefit the

payments systems by improving overall efficiency and security in the long-term, and the end result will

Randy Vande rhoof, inte rvie w with Payme nts Source, September 2012. The EMV Migration F orum was cre ated in
Se pte mber 2012, unde r the le adership of Randy Vande rhoof, pre side nt of the Smart Card Alliance . The primary role
of the Forum is to pre pare merchants, acquirers, issuers and processors for the pe nding conversion to EMV smart
card te chnology in the U.S.



likely include several competing models that could be categorized broadly as cloud-based or NFC-like.
These systems will eventually co-exist and may be selected for payments based on their venue and risk
profile. For example, QR codes may work well for micropayments in a closed-loop proprietary payment
system. NFC solutions may be best applied in cases that require enhanced security features such as
transit, where speed and convenience of processing a high volume of transactions is necessary.
Value-Added Services
Retail: The mobile payment and commerce landscape is opening doors for innovative value-added
services that enhance mobile payments. Such services can be provided before and after the actual
payment transaction. These services are instrumental to offering relevant and timely information to
customers, increasing the likelihood of generating additional sales, strengthening brand loyalty, and
offering additional points of interaction with the customer. Both NFC mobile and cloud-based digital
wallets can allow for the generation of customized coupons, timely discounts, and loyalty and reward
program tracking and redemption directly from the mobile device. Value-added services are becoming
more important than the actual payment transaction for driving mobile payment adoption.


sustainability, the value proposition of mobile commerce will need to include concrete value-added
services beyond payments.
The ability to collect and analyze information on consumer preferences and buying habits tied to mobile
payment transactions may enable customized promotions and rewards, but may also present risk to the
customer’s transaction information if not managed properly. A driving force behind collection of the data
is the desire for enhanced data monetization by the data owners (e.g., FI, card network, merchant, MNO,
payment service provider), who want to leverage their data to increase profit and efficiency, improve
customer experience, and build customer loyalty. Competition over data ownership and its subsequent use
exists, and stakeholders will need to agree on how to protect, share and present the data, subject to
customer preferences.
The concept of a mobile or digital wallet can create a convenient and efficient tool for the consumer in the
long-term. Initially consumers may be frustrated by limited payment choices included in the wallet, and
by providers flooding the market with wallet offerings to attempt to gain market share. Research by
TSYS and Mercator Advisory Group shows that consumers wish to consolidate their store loyalty and
rewards cards in the mobile phone, and want to pay for purchases with their preferred payment method in
a mobile wallet. 35


TSYS and Me rcator (2012). 2012 Consumer Debit Payment Choice Research Study.


Transit: The benefits of mobile contactless payments for mass transit are starting to emerge. Some U.S.
transit systems are exploring opportunities to leverage open-loop card networks for transit payments.
Contactless chip payments, particularly in the mobile channel, provide a use case for interoperability,
lower operating costs through reduced transit fare card issuance expense, and increased acceptance to
address the myriad of different payment acceptance systems for transit authorities across the U.S. Today,
most of the largest U.S. transit systems are already invested in smart card systems for more flexible and
efficient revenue collections.

A transition from proprietary transit-only systems to open-loop NFC

contactless payments represents an opportunity for even greater efficiency, reduced operational costs, and
enhanced consumer convenience. The 2012 Isis mobile wallet launch in Salt Lake City with the Utah
Transit Authority is an example of one of the first commercially available mobile payment transit
programs in the U.S. In October 2011, Google Wallet conducted a NFC mobile payments trial with the
New Jersey Transit Authority for NFC.
Revenue and Monetization Opportunities
New nonbank players and the conjoining of industries unaccustomed to partnership are disrupting
payment models, as mobile emerges as a new payment vehicle. The new models are evolving without
one standard approach dominating the playing field, making it difficult to achieve revenue goals. Mobile
advertising with customized, promotions-based consumer shopping behaviors represents a new source of
revenue. The Google Wallet business model is built primarily on gathering of user data and subsequent
advertising, in contrast to the Isis wallet model, which provides a neutral, fee-based platform on which
bank issuers load their credit, debit, and prepaid cards. Three of the top U.S. mobile carriers (AT&T,
Verizon and T-Mobile) invested in the Isis joint venture receive a share of revenue from card issuers for
wallet payment transactions, together with rent paid by the issuers to add their customers’ cards to the
secure element.

The revenue potential and cost implications associated with the rent model are

unforeseen, particularly given that participation in the Isis wallet is currently limited to three financial
institutions (Barclaycard, Capital One, and Chase).
New solutions will be developed in response to the need for business models that meet the expectations of
all stakeholders in the ecosystem. The variety of payment solutions may advance new schemes for
revenue and cost-sharing that benefit customers and merchants.
Data Privacy
The MPIW focused considerable attention on the need for data privacy in the mobile channel, recognizing
that the success of the mobile payment ecosystem hinges on trust and transparency. Similar to other
channels, mobile can expose payments data to new parties and create the opportunity for data to be
compromised. While the rewards resulting from data monetization may benefit the consumer, misuse of

the data may create serious privacy considerations if the consumer’s payment or personally identifiable
information (PII) is used without the consumer’s explicit consent (e.g., opt-in) and lead to potential harm
and unintended consequences.
Privacy risks are heightened with data monetization in the mobile payments space. The use of locationbased services (LBS) by merchants and payment service providers to drive active and passive mobile
marketing efforts has also heightened the concerns around privacy. While it is expected that consumers
must register and/or opt-in to the application to allow it to use their location information, they may
unknowingly allow companies to compile detailed profiles of their lives. Some popular LBS-enabled
tools lack clear and concise disclosures about personal information collection, how that data is used, and
the process for consumer consent.
In response to concerns over privacy risks in the mobile commerce environment, the FTC issued its Final
Privacy Report, Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations for
Businesses and Policymakers,36 in March 2012, and the Obama Administration released its Consumer
Privacy Bill of Rights. 37

While these reports are guidelines, any well-publicized incidents of privacy

intrusions could result in legislative or regulatory action.

Update of Original Strategic Principles

The purpose of the initial paper was to inform the FRB and other interested parties of the MPIW’s
assessment of the foundational principles intended to guide the development of an integrated end-to-end
mobile payments process that could promote successful adoption.

At the time, MPIW members

supported rapid achievement of these principles to advance the realization of the benefits of mobile
payments. However, the last two years have witnessed considerable change in the market and the
business models, while NFC mobile payments have not evolved as quickly as originally predicted.
Cloud-based and other innovative technologies, coupled with new market entrants and creative
partnerships, have changed the dynamics of the mobile payments ecosystem, calling for a re-evaluation
and modification of the MPIW’s original strategic principles. 38

Available at
In the re port, the White House proposed le gislation based on the privacy principle s it contained and calle d on the
U.S. Comme rce De partment’s National Te le communications and Information Administration (NTIA) to conve ne
stake holde rs to de velop e nforceable codes of conduct imple menting the se principle s for spe cific industrie s. The NTIA
has since held a se ries of multi-stake holde r workshops to de velop voluntary codes of conduct to protect users’
privacy in s pe cific busine ss contexts.
38 The following comme ntary presents policy propositions for the FRB’s conside ration and doe s not seek to influe nce
compe ting te chnological or commercial mode ls currently being de veloped in the industry.


Open Wallet concept has evolved to include both mobile and digital wallets
The successful model for an open mobile wallet has not changed; however the initial concept of a mobile
wallet has expanded into a digital wallet. Two years ago, the MPIW’s definition of a mobile wallet was
focused on NFC contactless technology which would store payment credentials, coupons, rewards, and
other value-added features in the secure element in the physical mobile phone. In contrast, a digital
wallet leverages cloud computing (i.e. remote servers) and wireless networks to enable proximity and
remote mobile purchases and bill payments, without requiring secure financial data to be embedded in the
mobile device. In a digital wallet, a payment may also be transacted without the physical presence of the
mobile device by using a mobile phone number and a PIN/password at the POS.

Although the

NFC/secure element solution remains a viable option, cloud-based mobile services also provide secure
storage and access to payment credentials, without the limitations inherent in a hardware model. The
open wallet will likely evolve to include some components of NFC with the secure element and cloud,
depending on consumer chosen functionality in terms of the type of payment and payment-related apps
pre-loaded onto the mobile device, or via download through various app stores.
A true digital wallet is expected to be open and ubiquitous, accepted at most merchant locations, and
across a multiplicity of different payment terminals. It should allow complete access by all consumers for
various services, including transit, vending and ATMs. None of the current mobile or digital wallets truly
meet this open standard, based on the original vision. Rather, current business models offered by major
stakeholders are largely based on card platforms, with loyalty features. As long as wallet participation is
bilateral, requiring exclusivity agreements that motivate other businesses to work independently to
develop their own versions of the wallet, progress towards a true open wallet will remain slow.
Convergence of multiple technology platforms for mobile payments
Although NFC contactless mobile payments remain a key component of this principle, NFC is no longer
viewed by industry stakeholders as the exclusive technology that will drive mobile payment adoption. It
may gain ground when NFC-enabled phones and merchant terminals become widely available, but the
slow pace and cost of NFC implementation has led to the pursuit of alternative solutions and technologies
among industry stakeholders.
Currently, support for and opposition to NFC varies widely across stakeholders in the mobile payments

Some stakeholders are hedging their bets by finding opportunities to implement

complementary and/or competing mobile payment schemes where the alternative mobile payment method
may be more cost-effective and more suitable to a certain venue or service, until consumer demand for
NFC reaches critical mass. Other stakeholders remain unconvinced about the viability of NFC as a
business or technical platform for payments and are actively pursuing non-NFC solutions. Despite

reservations by some stakeholders and other market participants, NFC offers benefits that other mobile
technologies may not. Unlike cloud and QR code technologies, NFC is standards-based for chips and the
secure element. NFC is well-suited as a cash replacement for small dollar purchases. It can enhance
opportunities for loyalty programs with two-way communication. Coupled with the secure element in the
mobile device, NFC can process prepaid debit, electronic benefits and transfer (EBT), and transit
payments, enhancing efforts for financial inclusion of the underbanked.
Establish a ubiquitous platform for existing and new clearing and settlement rails 39
Existing clearing and settlement rails provide a sound foundation for mobile payments platforms and for
mass adoption and consumer choice, without precluding the opportunity for new rails to emerge. Current
mobile/digital wallet solutions are either leveraging existing rails or developing innovative ways to use
them (e.g., ACH). One exception to the use of traditional payments rails is direct carrier billing (DCB),
which charges mobile payments directly to the customer’s wireless phone bill. This service is only being
used for very small value digital content in the U.S.
Dynamic data authentication provides long-term integrity and security for transactions across all
Dynamic data authentication (DDA) provides a secure method for protecting user data such as cardholder
and other sensitive data for card-based mobile contactless payment transactions.

From a security

perspective, EMV is important because it uses DDA to secure Chip and PIN payments and can further
secure mobile contactless payments. NFC is an extension of EMV chip technology that adds a radio
interface. POS terminals that are upgraded to comply with EMV specifications are capable of supporting
the payment card brands contactless (NFC) payment applications and processing both contact (smartcard)
transactions and contactless (mobile NFC) transactions, should merchants decide to enable that capability.
At a minimum, U.S. merchants must upgrade their POS terminals to support EMV in order to avoid the
liability shift for fraudulent card transactions.
Given the credit card networks’ directive for EMV in the U.S., this principle has been updated to include
migration to the EMV specifications and encouragement by the card networks of early adoption of this
payment scheme to assist in strengthening the security of card and mobile payments, and to ensure
stronger security of the payment system and enhanced protection of the payment transaction data.


Existing rails include : cre dit, de bit, ACH, pre paid and mobile carrie r billing.


Develop and adopt a global interoperable platform in the U.S. for mobile payment standards and
certification of payment methods, leveraging existing standards where possible
To accelerate the adoption of mobile payments in the U.S., mobile devices must work safely and securely,
and be capable of performing payment functions consistently, regardless of the technology platform,
application, wallet, or underlying payment method. Standards should be applied across mobile payment
solutions through a platform that can ensure domestic and global interoperability of technology, process
and security.
Certain components in the current mobile payments ecosystem are already standards-based. The most
developed are global technical standards for NFC-based mobile payments and the associated secure
element. Any mobile contactless payment form factor used via NFC at the POS should follow established
contactless standards endorsed by the International Standards Organization (ISO) and NFC industry
groups, such as Smart Card Alliance, NFC Forum, GSMA, and Mobey Forum. 40

In the U.S., mobile

contactless payments employing computer chip security and NFC technology must be based on ISO
standard 14443. 41 Minimum compliance requirements for adoption of NFC contactless payments should
include dynamic data authentication, digital/mobile wallet contactless functionality, and inclusion of the
secure element in the mobile device. Furthermore, the industry would benefit from further analysis of
ISO 18092 42 as a potential extension of contactless payments to enable peer-to-peer communication in
addition to card emulation achieved with ISO 14443.
NFC mobile payments must also be capable of supporting all payment methods and networks, comply
with business rules and standards, and reside in a secure container in the mobile device to interface with
mobile payment applications. Mobile stakeholders are working with solution providers to build NFC
mobile payment platforms based on all three secure element options: SIM card, embedded NFC chip, and
micro SD chip. While no one secure element option is dominant in the U.S. marketplace, the SIM card
approach is more prominent in the global market.

40 The NFC F orum de ve lops NFC spe cifications for de vice architecture and protocols to e nsure inte roperability
be twe e n conforming de vices, while GlobalPlatform handle s secure e lement specifications to support the
de ve lopment of inte rnationally inte roperable, multi-application NFC solutions. The GlobalPlatform scope include s
se tting spe cifications for securely loading confide ntial content (e .g. customer data) onto the card by e xternal e ntitie s
such as the Trusted Se rvice Manager (TSM).
41 ISO 14443 is an inte rnational standard that de fines proximity cards used for ide ntification, and the transmission
protocols for communicating with it.
42 ISO 18092 de fine s communication mode s for Ne ar Fie ld Communication Interface and Protocol (NFCIP-1) using
inductive couple d de vice s operating at the center fre quency of 13,56 MHz for inte rconnection of compute r
pe riphe rals. It also de fines both the Active and the Passive communication modes of NFCIP-1 to re alize a
communication ne twork using NFC de vice s for ne tworke d products and also for consumer e quipment.


For other components in the mobile payments ecosystem, standards do not exist. Mobile payments that
leverage the cloud and QR codes do not have a standards framework. There are no defined end-to-end
standards to support the efficient use and security of the mobile device, the actual mobile payment during
the transaction process, and the provisioning of the mobile/digital wallet. Privacy and security standards
related to downloadable mobile apps are needed. While control of the application marketplace by the
operating system providers has been helpful, there is room for improvement in the development of
consistent rules and security measures. With the exception of PCI, no consistent standards exist to guide
the use of encryption and tokenization as tools to enhance mobile payment security.
Whether implementing NFC/hardware-based or cloud/software solutions, all U.S. mobile payments
stakeholders support the principle of a safe and secure mobile payment transaction. While it may be
premature to establish cohesive standards for mobile payments, it may be appropriate for a broad,
organized effort in the U.S., led by the appropriate organizations and/or regulatory bodies, to engage
mobile payment stakeholders in beginning to develop a high level set of principles and a common
roadmap or taxonomy to sort out the different components for mobile payments. These principles should
include an agreed upon set of interoperable standards that encompass mobile devices (smartphones), NFC
chips, secure elements, cloud, QR codes and mobile applications. The standards (accredited or otherwise)
must also support the provisioning and maintenance of credentialing, open interoperability, and related
security and privacy concerns. The process should leverage the best of existing standards and rules,
without diminishing future innovation for the benefit of consumers. The MPIW may be well-positioned to
leverage collective industry expertise to identify the potential gaps in the current standards framework
that could be addressed by best practices, guidelines and principles.
Neutral Trusted Service Managers (TSMs) should oversee the provision of shared security elements
used in the mobile phone for an NFC solution
This principle was written to be deliberately broad, leaving the individual mobile payment providers to
determine what TSM(s) to choose and how to utilize the TSMs to manage functions. For example,
Google’s TSM handles all the related services, while two TSMs (managed by the same company) support
Isis, one for FIs and one for MNOs.
A TSM typically coordinates the technical and business relationships between multiple stakeholders,
including MNOs and service providers such as banks, ticketing agencies and other public and private
sector issuing authorities, to deliver and maintain end-user services on mobile devices. These functions
include: providing end-to-end application security by authorizing access to the secure element as required
by each of the stakeholders; and application lifecycle management, including over-the-air provisioning,
personalization, activation, and deactivation of services and privileges.

Going forward, the MPIW may want to consider how interoperability, standards, and management of the
digital wallet could be factored into the role of TSMs. The group should also discuss whether the time is
right to broaden the TSM role for wallets in the U.S. to include other responsibilities such as customer
service, certification of mobile payment applications and vendors, and how the TSM fits into the larger
structure of the trusted intermediary.
Regulatory Clarity
Regulatory clarity continues to be a critical core principle. Some progress has been made towards
industry understanding of the regulatory responsibilities and concerns related to mobile payments.


MPIW has primarily focused on enhancing communication between regulators and industry stakeholders
and on monitoring current developments and education through conferences and other media. The MPIW
and Federal Reserve will continue dialogue with regulators to clarify oversight responsibilities, help
create regulatory guidelines for security and privacy, and develop business standards and best practices.
Understanding the Role of Nonbanks in the Mobile Payments Ecosystem
One of the unique qualities of the mobile payments ecosystem is the expanse and diversity of industry

The mobile environment has created opportunities for many nonbanks to introduce

innovation and creative partnerships to the evolution of the mobile payments ecosystem, contributing to
the success of mobile payments adoption. Start-ups and mature nonbank businesses are developing apps
and providing lower cost solutions (compared to traditional card rails) for making and accepting mobile
payments, and for clearing and settling payments that leverage existing payment rails. Merchants and
alternative service providers are also demonstrating increased interest and influence over the direction of
the mobile payments ecosystem.
Participation by mobile app developers illustrates a potential risk/benefit paradigm that is introduced to
the payments environment. Many mobile app developers are small and independent, and not as familiar
with the regulations and risk management practices that characterize the financial services industry.
Without some guidance and direction, mobile payment app developers could potentially create serious
consumer payment vulnerabilities. Partnering with industry incumbents could help to educate them and
mitigate risks.
While innovation is encouraged in the mobile payments marketplace, participation by new entrants, large
and small, generates new risk to the ecosystem, along with new opportunities. It also raises questions
about the need for third-party (nonbank) enhanced risk management considerations. Therefore, the need


to keep abreast of and understand nonbank activity in the payment space has been added to the MPIW
strategic principles.
Summary of Principles
Overall, the original principles established by the MPIW hold true, albeit with some modifications,
particularly the shift to an expanded mobile technology platform that includes both NFC and cloud-based
mobile and digital wallets. Some change is not surprising with almost two years of experience testing
different mobile models: the introduction of new participants, technologies, and services; learning what
works and what does not; the influence of merchants on the cost structure of mobile payments; and all
stakeholders gaining a better understanding of the consumer demands and security requirements. As the
MPIW has grown in size and diversity of representation, it has broadened its perspective on the evolution
of mobile payments in the United States.
This broader perspective lends itself to an expansion of the original strategic principles to emphasize two
additional points:

(1) understanding risks associated with nonbanks; and (2) recognizing that

incorporating transparent value-added services –such as incentives and offers into mobile payment
platforms –have the potential to motivate consumers to adopt mobile payments.

Long-term Vision

The MPIW’s support for a secure and open mobile payments system remains unchanged. Despite the
variety of technology platforms, the ultimate solution must be safe, open, interoperable, and available
ubiquitously on any mobile device, with any bank or merchant, and ideally over any network. Security in
mobile payments will continue to be top of mind for all stakeholders, particularly consumers and
merchants, who must have confidence in the safety and reliability of the mobile payments system for it to
succeed. Ongoing technology advancements and disruption will continue to alter the landscape; mobile
and digital wallets will co-exist; technology platform and channel convergence will increase; and big data
monetization will need to be included in the risk management process.
Ongoing Technology Advancements will Alter the Mobile Payments Landscape
The MPIW’s ultimate long-term vision is for a safe, secure, and technically interoperable mobile
ecosystem built on multiple technology platforms. However, in the absence of any limits or standards
restricting entry, the mobile payments landscape will continue to introduce more alternative payment
solutions in the near term.


Mobile and Digital Wallets will Co-Exist
Future wallet business models may leverage emerging standards such as the FIDO 43 Alliance that
combine the strong device-level security (a characteristic of NFC) with cloud-based technologies, driving
improved efficiencies and innovation for user experiences, while standardizing the back-end protocols for
interoperability, ubiquity, and optimum security.
Increasing Channel Convergence using Existing Rails
The increasing ubiquity of mobile phone usage globally is driving commerce to the Internet and mobile
channels. Subsequently, payment service providers are introducing solutions that leverage both channels,
blurring the lines of demarcation among payment delivery methods.
Interestingly, there is little evidence of industry support for the creation of new clearing and settlement
rails, suggesting that new payment systems will continue to build on existing infrastructure or create new
models using components of the existing rails. It is very costly and complicated to build brand new
payment rails and achieve scale, particularly in the United States where the existing payment rails are
mature, trusted, secure and regulated.
Big Data Monetization with Risk Management Oversight
The MPIW initially predicted that customer data analytics and marketing efforts might need a
combination of private and public oversight to avoid privacy violations. As a result, mobile industry
participants will need to find ways to share customer information to establish sufficient audit trails to
manage payments fraud. New mobile business models will need to strike a reasonable balance for
information sharing between who needs to know and what information should be shared.
While alternative payment providers have demonstrated sufficient self-governance with respect to mobile
marketing, future growth and competition in the mobile landscape may potentially compromise consumer
privacy, creating opportunities for data mismanagement. This could be particularly true with nonbank
technology start-ups that are unfamiliar with regulatory schemes and consumer protection laws associated
with traditional financial services. Data owners may jeopardize consumer protections by leveraging data
to maximize revenue.

Increasing use of LBS to track consumers and offer real-time, customized

promotions may also raise questions about access to customer data for marketing purposes. The CFPB
will monitor consumer protections, including disclosures governing privacy.

The FTC is also

increasingly focused on developments in the mobile channel with respect to consumer protections and
privacy, which may serve to strengthen industry self-governance.
Fast Ide ntity Online (FIDO) is an organization formed to e nable inte roperable strong authentication and
authorization be twe en mobile phone s and cloud se rvices. The FIDO Alliance was co-founded by Validity, PayPal,
Infine on, Le novo, and Nok Nok Labs and launche d in Fe bruary 2013.




Much has happened in the two-plus years since the first MPIW report on the U.S. mobile payments
landscape was published, and not entirely in the direction many industry stakeholders had anticipated.
There have been some unexpected obstacles to mobile payment adoption, some surprises in the mix of
players in the market, and some new solutions developed to compete with NFC. As a result, the U.S.
mobile payments market and consumer adoption did not grow as quickly as expected. It is clear that
mobile payments will continue to expand and become a permanent fixture in the payments system.
However, without continued collaboration and movement toward open access, the likelihood of achieving
mass adoption and the associated benefits to stakeholders, consumers, and the payment system is
Next Steps for the MPIW
The MPIW will continue to convene and work collaboratively to inform the FRB, regulators,
policymakers, and Congress on developments in the mobile payments industry and the adoption of open
and interoperable mobile payment solutions, both for the retail POS as well as other venues. Much work
remains to be done to achieve a viable mobile payment system, including development of a risk
management program, implementation of necessary technology standards, identifying and closing
regulatory gaps, strengthening stakeholder business cases, and achieving broad consumer adoption.
Gaining a better understanding of the risks and security requirements for mobile payments will be a top
priority. This is a broad topic because of the many components and parties involved in provisioning and
processing a mobile payment across different platforms. As such, the MPIW will first need to define the
scope of the effort.
The MPIW will also provide input and recommendations for mobile and digital wallet standards and best
practices in order to address compatibility, interoperability, privacy, and security (including
accommodating multiple payment options and applications securely, accessing multiple payments
Finally, the group will continue to educate members and engage outside groups in discussions on the
long-term benefits of mobile payments in the retail space, and keep abreast of regulatory developments,
particularly related to consumer protection and data privacy, and how the U.S. migration to EMV may
impact the progress of mobile payments.


Appendix: MPIW Activity 2011-2012
January 2011
March 2011


July 2011


December 2011


April 2012
July 2012
September 2012


November 2012
January 2013


May 2013


Met to discuss current mobile activity and review draft of white paper
Published first white paper, Mobile Payments in the United States: Mapping
Out the Road Ahead
Met to discuss mobile wallet, merchant business case, and security of NFC
mobile payments
First meeting to feature inclusion of several merchants (previously
represented by MAG)
Merchants expressed concerns related to business case for mobile payments,
future role of NFC, processing costs, investment in terminal upgrades, and
cost of PCI compliance
Attendees expressed need for broad education to allay consumer security and
privacy concerns for mobile payments, and supported a roadmap that would
allow for industry self-regulation
Met to discuss current trends related to mobile wallet initiatives (e.g., Google
Wallet, Isis, Visa, PayPal), security requirements and end-to-end risk
management, TSM roles and responsibilities, and interoperability and
management of secure elements and multiple wallets
Prior to meeting, several MPIW members participated in series of calls to
examine different NFC secure element approaches – embedded, SIM,
microSD, and mobile payments in the cloud
Met with representatives from Federal and State banking agencies, FTC and
FCC to discuss issues, concerns, and potential gaps in regulatory coverage of
mobile payments in the United States
Published white paper, The U.S. Regulatory Landscape for Mobile Payments,
summarizing the April 2012 meeting
Met with retailers and start-ups to understand their perspective on mobile
payment opportunities and challenges
Findings from security information presented at December 2011 meeting
included in Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s white paper, Mobile Phone
Technology: Smarter than We Thought.44
Met with mobile security experts to learn their perspectives on key mobile
payment risks
Mobile payment security identified as an issue where collaboration is
Formed security sub-group to analyze mobile payment vulnerabilities and
authentication requirements
Published new white paper, U.S. Mobile Payments Landscape – Two Years

http://www.bostonfe -phone-technology.pdf,
Nove mbe r 2012.