For decades, PIN entry has been restricted to specialized hardware devices, such as PIN pads on ATMs and at the point of sale. On Monday, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based software company headed by a former Visa Inc. executive said it will start offering to retailers in Japan its technology for PIN entry on ordinary, off-the-shelf mobile devices. MagicCube Inc. said it will work with NTT Data Corp., a Tokyo-based information-technology firm. No information was immediately available regarding how soon the partnership will begin operating.
Last week, MagicCube announced its app, which is based on a virtual trusted execution environment, or vTEE, has been certified by EMVCo, the international payments standards body controlled by six global payment card networks, including Visa and Mastercard Inc. This move followed a new standard for the method issued in January 2018 by the PCI Security Standards Council, the Wakefield, Mass.-based organization that establishes rules for payment card security.
Now, the move to bring so-called PIN-on-Glass to Japanese merchants could accelerate acceptance of the technology, which allows for PIN entry on ordinary mobile devices for both credit and debit cards, including contactless ones. Adoption could also be speeded up by the vTEE green light from EMVCo, which could simplify PCI certification of specific implementations, and by support from NTT, MagicCube says.
“When software replaces hardware, everything becomes downloadable and upgradable, which allows the market to grow exponentially,” said Sam Shawki, MagicCube’s chief executive, in a statement. “Our PIN-on-Glass technology coupled with NTT Data’s global presence and integration and hosting capabilities will benefit progressive large retailers as well as micromerchants and allow them easy access to this breakthrough technology.” Shawki started MagicCube in 2014 after leaving Visa.
Meanwhile, NTT spots an opportunity for its payments business. “By partnering with MagicCube, we’re accelerating the delivery of secure, cutting-edge payment solutions for retail merchants,” said Masanori Kurihara, head of cards & payments services division at the company, in a statement. “Given the ongoing digitization of retail payments and associated security concerns, our PIN-on-Glass solutions will satisfy crucial demand by providing scalable, software-based POS capabilities with the same security found in hardware-based technologies.”