It’s been a long time coming, but it looks as if we may have NFC payments on our phones. I’ve had to do quite a bit of research, but Windows 8 phones are enabled to do NFC payments (I recently purchased one of the new Nokia 1020 phones, but even the HTC 8x has NFC as well, too bad for Apple users). According the this page, http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/how-to/wp8/basics/wallet-faq you can use the Microsoft Wallet application for NFC payments. However, you must have a “special, secure SIM card”.
So the question becomes, how does one get a “special, secure SIM card”? Well for AT&T, they are only making them available in two markets, and specifically branded for Android phones only (frustrating, eh?). A phone call will not get you one of the SIM Cards either, as the word I received was that they have no availability for them. Why a special secure SIM card? Because NFC needs a way to securely facilitate authentication which is only available via a separate cryptographic processor on the SIM card which is contained in a secure microprocessor. This is called the Secure Element (SE). You can find out more information on AT&T’s page http://networkingexchangeblog.att.com/enterprise-business/isis-mobile-payment-and-nfc-secure-element/.
So how do you get one? Well as I mentioned it’s only available in two markets, Austin and Salt Lake City, not to mention it only became available just a few months ago. The various cellular companies have branded it ISIS and it’s only available on Android phones as well. So until I am able to get my hands on one of these cards, I have no way of knowing if it will in fact work with my new Nokia 1020. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a friend in Austin to pick one up and send it to me. I’ll update as soon as I have more information.
You can read more about AT&T’s ISIS involvement here: http://www.att.com/shop/apps/isis-mobile-wallet.html#fbid=k382tIOuOQs
For T-Mobile’s take on ISIS, you can read more here: http://support.t-mobile.com/thread/34443?start=0&tstart=0