Mobile payments can be secure

By Rich Nass

Executive Vice President

Embedded Computing Design

November 13, 2014

Mobile payments can be secure

Mobile payments are certainly in the spotlight today, both for good reasons and not so good reasons. But with any new technology, there are likely to...

Mobile payments are certainly in the spotlight today, both for good reasons and not so good reasons. But with any new technology, there are likely to be some bugs and a learning curve. When it comes to money and finances, being on the bleeding edge may not be such a good thing.

One of the devices that I was recently made aware of helps keeps those mobile payments secure. At the same time, it should accelerate the transition from legacy POS devices to that new generation of mobile devices. Kili Technology‘s Mobile Point-of-Sale (mPOS) terminal-on-a-chip family of secure SoC processors and supporting firmware lets developers design certifiable mPOS terminals that support all modes of payment. This includes magnetic stripe, EMV contact (as used in smart cards), and EMV contactless using near-field communications technology.

The K409B secure processor offers what the company calls the highest level of integration for mPOS applications. It features a dual CPU architecture, an integrated NFC transceiver and controller, and an integrated secure capacitive touch controller that all meet PCI PTS 4.0 standards. The on-chip capacitive touch analog front-end (AFE) and controller support the use of capacitive touch pads or touch panels such as a tablet while reducing complexity and cost by eliminating various external components required for a discrete touch pad or panel solution. Low-profile embedded wafer-level BGA packaging helps further minimize the footprint. To maximize security, the K409B adds a sudden destruction interface, a security mesh, and a secure e-fuse memory.

A second configuration, the K400Q, is targeted at personal payment devices that don’t require PCI certification as well as applications for access control, Internet of Things (IoT), and authentication. This part comes in a 56-pin QFN package.

A series of firmware modules allow OEMs, ODMs, and other hardware suppliers to meet the certification standards for payment and authentication applications. The available reference design includes all schematics, Gerber files, drivers, APIs, security, and other firmware. The K409B and K400Q SoCs are sampling now and will be in production in Q1 2015.

Rich Nass, Embedded Computing Brand Director

Richard Nass’ key responsibilities include setting the direction for all aspects of OSM’s ECD portfolio, including digital, print, and live events. Previously, Nass was the Brand Director for Design News. Prior, he led the content team for UBM’s Medical Devices Group, and all custom properties and events. Nass has been in the engineering OEM industry for more than 30 years. In prior stints, he led the Content Team at EE Times,, and TechOnLine. Nass holds a BSEE degree from NJIT.

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