Arm, Proxama and Mastercard are working together to develop a secure mobile wallet
Cambridge-based technology company ARM is working with Mastercard to create a contactless payment system for smartphones.
The two companies are working with Proxama, a UK company that specialises in near field communication (NFC). The partnership combines technology developed by ARM and Proxama to enable Mastercard holders to send money by simply touching two compatible phones together.
The 'chip and pin' style transaction uses ARM's Trust Zone technology and Proxama Mobile Wallet to securely send the money between two devices.
Demonstrating the process on a NFC Android smartphone at MWC 2012, ARM explained that the system worked by isolating the touchscreen from the rest of the phone. This then means that any information entered on the device using the touchscreen can't be accessed by the Android operating system. Trust Zone then encrypts this data so that it cannot be intercepted by other programs.
ARM said the system could be used by shops or for people to pay for services or a share of a bill when they don't have the money to hand.
By entering a passcode and selecting an amount to send, a user then needs to touch the two phones together to make the transaction. If successful, the transaction will then appear on the application on the other phone.
NFC smartphones are still not widely available, but companies working on NFC payment systems are hoping the technology will take-off this year.
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