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GlobalPlatform made simple guide: Mobile Messaging

What is GlobalPlatform Mobile Messaging?

GlobalPlatform has identified and defined the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders within the near-field-communications (NFC) ecosystem. It has outlined the ‘language’ that should be used across all parties to ensure global consistency and clear communication. This ‘language’ is referred to as ‘messages’.

By clearly defining ‘who’ is responsible for ‘what’ and agreeing the messaging that will be used, the NFC / mobile marketplace is able to make the required communication exchanges to provide the end-user with secure services on the secure element (SE), and very soon, the trusted execution environment (TEE). This ultimately allows a stakeholder to connect its system to the SE / TEE and any other actor within the ecosystem.
GlobalPlatform Mobile Messaging can be used over-the-air via a mobile network as well as over-the-internet using the cloud environment.

Why is the messaging important and what are the benefits to the marketplace?

Mobile messages support back-office activities that facilitate the secure deployment – or ‘provisioning’ – of a mobile application to a mobile device. Mobile messages are also essential for dealing with post deployment events. This could be voluntary – such as an end-user requesting an update to service privileges or personal detail changes, or involuntary – a device is lost or stolen and the services on the mobile – for example banking or loyalty need to be suspended. 

As new players enter the secure mobile services ecosystem, such as trusted service managers (TSMs), and new partnerships are formed to deliver innovative products, it is vital that there is clarity across the infrastructure; creating an end-to-end trusted solution.

Another key benefit of mobile messaging is that it supports system specifications, which are ready to ‘talk’ the messaging ‘language’. This means that the connectivity and interface development costs are drastically reduced when creating new partnerships.

Why has GlobalPlatform developed these specifications?

GlobalPlatform is a member-driven association with good representation from all stakeholders across the NFC ecosystem and related markets. Using this wealth of knowledge and adopting a collaborative approach, GlobalPlatform has been able to assess the business requirements of each industry sector and develop specifications that promote universal messaging that is adaptable to support all business models and use cases. 

Are these specifications supported by the industry?

The GlobalPlatform Mobile Messaging Specifications align with, and meet the requirements of key industry associations including the European Payments Council (EPC), GSMA and use cases from the Association Française pour le ‘Sans Contact’ Mobile (AFSCM). 

“We applaud the members of GlobalPlatform for building their specifications on SAML, WS-Security, and other OASIS standards,” said Laurent Liscia, executive director of OASIS. “The implementation of these widely adopted, foundational standards clearly demonstrates GlobalPlatform's commitment to interoperability for TSMs.”

Mr. Dag-Inge Flatraaker, the Chair of the EPC Mobile Working Group, comments: “We welcome the documents as a first step towards interoperability for TSMs which is a crucial factor for the market take up of these services in the NFC ecosystem. The EPC appreciates that the document Specification for Management of Mobile NFC Services v1.0 covers the processes defined in the TSM /MNO space as specified in the joint EPC-GSMA document and is looking forward to further GlobalPlatform work in the TSM /service provider domain.”

What exactly has GlobalPlatform produced?

Two specifications have been released by GlobalPlatform to date:

  1. Web Services Profile for GlobalPlatform Messaging Specification v1.0. This provides guidance on how OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), and W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Web Services Standards should be implemented in a GlobalPlatform systems deployment to achieve industry interoperability. The document details how to apply IT infrastructures and industry standard components and tools to ease integration and build web services without the need to design a complete business solution.
  1. GlobalPlatform’s Specification for Management of Mobile NFC Services v1.0. This technical specification defines how messages can be exchanged between all actors in an NFC deployment in an interoperable, secure and reliable web services format. For example, a TSM request on behalf of a bank to a mobile network operator to deploy a payment application, or a mobile network operator to notify all parties involved in the delivery of a NFC service that a mobile device has been lost and services to the handset must be terminated.

The combined usage of both documents will assist the mobile NFC service community in building a sustainable, scalable and open messaging framework that leverages available web services tools.