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SD cards to get integrated NFC

SD card manufacturers are working with the smartcard industry body GlobalPlatform to help turn phones and other gadgets into secure digital wallets.The SD Association, which represents hundreds of companies ranging from Kingston Digital to Apple, said on Wednesday that it was collaborating with GlobalPlatform to add support for near-field communication (NFC) contactless authentication technology to Secure Digital (SD) standards.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

SD card manufacturers are working with the smartcard industry body GlobalPlatform to help turn phones and other gadgets into secure digital wallets.

The SD Association, which represents hundreds of companies ranging from Kingston Digital to Apple, said on Wednesday that it was collaborating with GlobalPlatform to add support for near-field communication (NFC) contactless authentication technology to Secure Digital (SD) standards.

The plan is for smart chip-enabled SD cards and microSD cards to turn authorised devices that use them into "electronic wallets carrying cashless currency and paperless identification for use in making everyday purchases such as groceries or train tickets, or in receiving customised subscription services like mobile television", the SD Association said in a statement.

"SD standards are proven to drive new applications in consumer electronics," association president Norm Frentz said. "Collaborating with GlobalPlatform complements and accelerates our plans to support near-field technology and gives device manufacturers and anyone providing content or service to consumers the turnkey to mass market mobile commerce and smart IDs."

The two groups said they were "both committed to specifications that ensure long-term interoperability through backwards compatibility".

NFC is already being built into many things, ranging from travel smartcards to bank cards. This year has seen the technology move into some new smartphones, through collaborations between banks and operators and through support from manufacturers and platform providers such as RIM and Google.

However, these products all have NFC built right into them. The fact that microSD and SD cards are removable media might open up some new ways of using the wireless technology.

According to the SD Association, service and content providers could use the revised SD standards to work with manufacturers on offering "new value-added services" that use NFC to authenticate transactions and identity.

These new services could include mobile commerce, secure access and hardware-encrypted voice services, the association said.

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