LEGIC introduces NFC-based people identification

At Security Essen, along with Kaba, LEGIC Identsystems AG, the Swiss expert in contactless people identification, demonstrated how access applications and rights can be loaded over a mobile network on to NFC telephones using a TSM.

While most of the current batch of NFC innovation announcements are in the areas of payments and the issuing of electronic tickets, at Security Essen Kaba and LEGIC demonstrated how this new technology can also be used in the field of people identification. In this context, LEGIC is presenting a new service; Trusted Service Management (TSM). This new LEGIC service will enable end customers and the 250-plus partners of LEGIC to load their applications on NFC-enabled mobile telephones, allowing access rights, for example for hotel room authorisations, or an amount of money to be awarded, changed or deleted over a mobile network. The new service also supports – similar to the LEGIC advant reader chip family – third party RF technologies.

LEGIC says that it is particularly worth noting that LEGIC reader components, and thereby a large proportion of the reader infrastructure in the field, have been NFC-enabled for the last five years. The demonstrated LEGIC NFC solution virtualises a card and places all the usual card functions on a secure chip in the telephone, allowing LEGIC technology users to combine their employee ID cards for several locations on a single handset. For example, using the LEGIC plug&play applications, little by little, city cards can be expanded to include new NFC services without significant investments. Using NFC telephones doesn’t only make it possible to provide new services, but also to change the data content of individual applications, says LEGIC.

“Just imagine, a technician is standing at a warehouse entrance and has to get in for an unplanned repair. With just two clicks in the administrative centre his smartphone is transformed into a temporary key”, Oliver Burke, LEGIC Vice President Corporate Projects, explains covering the potential of NFC identification technology, resulting not only in increased convenience but also in process optimisation in administering access rights. Burke said: “Major companies presently spend large sums on temporary company ID cards. NFC can reduce these costs to a fraction.” An NFC-based system also increases security: “If a person loses the right to enter a building or specific room, his virtual access card can be withdrawn.”

LEGIC is already working with a range of mobile network operators on people identification over NFC. “We are pleased by how positive mobile network operators have been. They see NFC-enabled LEGIC infrastructure as an opportunity to perform access controls and other personal identification applications using NFC smartphones in the future,” said Burke.

Unlike other solutions, the LEGIC NFC solution doesn’t need any hardware emulation and thus makes it possible for applications and rights to be stored not only on SECURE ELEMENTS (SE) and SD cards, but also to work on any preferred USIM, regardless of the manufacturer. “MNOs are pleased about this and it makes their life far easier,” Burke explains.

Around the world LEGIC has 150 million cards in over 100,000 installations in operation and the demand from customers and partners to use smartphones as an alternative to cards is growing all the time. In many cases, cards and NFC enabled mobiles will be used in parallel. On this topic Burke said: “We see it as our purpose to create an ecosystem for our partners and customers, which enables these plans. This ecosystem will continue to grow with the goal that any smartphone be used anywhere as a card or reader. There is still a great deal to do to achieve this goal, but the first steps in that direction and the positive experience we have had with MNOs make us very optimistic.”

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Categories: Near Field Communications

Author:Steve Atkins

Steve Atkins is the main contributor and Editor in Chief of Contactless Intelligence – covering contactless, NFC, mobile and cloud-based technologies. Even with almost twenty five years of experience in the high tech industry, he is still fascinated with all kinds of technology and the impact it has upon end users. He is currently based in Berlin, Germany.

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