STMicroelectronics and Fidesmo Bring Secure Contactless Transactions to Wearables

STMicroelectronics (ST) and contactless-services developer Fidesmo have created a solution for secure contactless payments on smart watches and other wearable technology.

The complete payment system-on-chip (SoC) is based on ST’s STPay-Boost IC, which combines a hardware secure element to protect transactions and a contactless controller featuring proprietary active-boost technology that maintains reliable NFC connections even in devices made with metallic materials. Its single-chip footprint fits easily within wearable form factors.

Fidesmo’s MasterCard MDES tokenisation platform completes the solution by allowing the user to load the personal data needed for payment transactions. Convenient Over-The-Air (OTA) technology makes personalization a simple step for the user without any special equipment.

“STPay-Boost, featuring our secure element and performance-boosting active contactless technology, is a unique single-chip payment solution that fits the design constraints of wearable devices,” said Laurent Degauque, Marketing Director, Secure Microcontroller Division, STMicroelectronics. “Fidesmo’s personalization platform provides the vital ingredient to create a turnkey payment solution that device makers can simply take and use with minimal engineering and certification effort.”

“Our cooperation with STMicroelectronics opens up a new market for us with support for lightweight boosted secure elements, and broadens choices for our customers,” said Mattias Eld, CEO of Fidesmo. “Together, we have created a unique offering that is sure to impact the hybrid watch market and drive the emergence of innovative new products such as wristbands, bracelets, key fobs, and connected jewellery.”

Kronaby, the Malmö, Sweden-based hybrid smart-watch maker, has embedded the STPay-Boost chip in its portfolio of men’s and women’s smart watches that offer differentiated features such as freedom from charging and filtered notifications. The SoC with Fidesmo tokenization enables Kronaby watches to support a variety of services such as payments, access control, transportation, and loyalty rewards.

Jonas Morän, Global Product Manager at Kronaby, said: ”We have achieved an intuitive and seamless user experience leveraging the ability to communicate with the Secure Element in the watch using Bluetooth. In addition, the ST/Fidesmo chip’s boosted wireless performance and compact size gives us extra freedom to style our watches to maximize their appeal in our target markets.”

STPay-Boost chips with Fidesmo OTA personalisation are sampling now and scheduled for volume production in November 2018, priced from $3.50 for orders of 1000 pieces (excluding Fidesmo license).