Infineon: contactless security chip powers NFC payment ring

Whether at the beach, on the daily jog, or at the gym: from now on, everyone can carry money discreetly on the body. NFCRing has introduced the world's first EMVCo compliant payment ring based on a contactless security chip from Infineon Technologies. The tiny, water-proof smart wearable works like a contactless payment card. Users can pay by simply holding their finger with the ring closely to any EMVCo contactless-enabled payment terminal. The ring uses NFC technology to communicate data over short distances of a few centimeters.

Almost half of all payment chip cards issued in 2015 worldwide use security solutions from Infineon. To make cashless payment even easier and more convenient for consumers, Infineon has optimized its contactless technology for payment applications with even the smallest smart wearables.

As a global standard, EMVCo facilitates worldwide interoperability and acceptance of secure payment transactions. Management of specifications and related testing processes is driven by EMVCo’s six member organisations American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, UnionPay, and Visa.

For the first time ever, contactless system developers have managed to build an EMVCo-compliant payment finger ring with a security chip and passive contactless antenna. The small surface area and dimension as well as the shape of the ring were not the only hurdle they had to overcome. The absence of a battery with smart wearables and contactless data transmission without taking the wearable off the finger make contactless transactions more difficult, too.

However, the developers have overcome all these challenges, thanks to the highly energy-efficient payment security chip from Infineon. The chip communicates via its tiny passive antenna with the terminal, triggers the secured payment and does cryptographic processing. Moreover, it is the only solution available on the market that complies with timing requirements of a few milliseconds whilst working at a distance of up to 4cm from a reader.

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