Wearables: contactless card payments innovation

19 October 2017

STMicroelectronics is delivering the technology for easy and secure contactless transactions using the ever-more-popular wristbands or fashionwear, such as watches or jewellery.

The market-unique ST53G System-in-Package solution combines STMicroelectronics' industry-leading expertise in Near Field Communication (NFC) and secure-transaction chips.

As consumers become increasingly comfortable with making secure transactions using their smart devices, traditional card manufacturers want to extend their offers into contactless wearable products for uses such as payments, ticketing, and access control. These can be difficult to implement within tight size and cost constraints, because conventional separate NFC-radio and security chips demand extra space and complicate design. In addition, wearable form factors reduce the options to small antennas that can restrict communication performance.

ST’s new ST53G System-in-Package overcomes these barriers by combining a miniaturised and enhanced NFC radio with a secure banking chip in one compact 4mm x 4mm module. The Company’s industry-leading, proprietary boostedNFC technology allows wearables with small antennas to deliver a great user experience when interacting with card readers over typical contactless distances.

The simplicity of this all-in-one module helps card manufacturers to quickly introduce functional and attractive wearables, which can range from fashion items to one-time devices like event wristbands. ST offers an extensive development ecosystem, including radio-tuning tools and predefined antenna configurations. The ST53G meets all relevant card-industry standards, including EMVCo compliance, ISO/IEC-14443 NFC card emulation, and MIFARE ticketing specifications.

The ST53G completes ST’s range of System-on-Chip products, and can host ready-to-use STPay smartcard operating systems and optional VISA/Mastercard/JCB-certified banking applications preloaded on the secure microcontroller.

“By making secure transactions possible on wearables, ranging from one-time devices to fashion items, our new chip module broadens consumer access to convenient, frictionless banking and ticketing,” said Laurent Degauque, Secure Microcontroller Division Marketing Director. “We are already working with customers to develop new ST53G-based products and support these market-friendly use cases.”

Engineering samples of the ST53G System-in-Package in the 4mm × 4mm WFBGA64 package are available now. Full production is scheduled to start in Q1 2018.

For more information, visit this link from STMElectronics.

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