We approach the NFC ecosystem from an unbiased business perspective because all other, specific industry or technology driven methodology would undoubtedly lead to failures, as we have seen it in the past.
We see a limited number of key roles – not necessarily separate actors –, who need to work together to realize a commercially viable NFC ecosystem. (Wherever it was possible we tried to use the naming conventions of Global Platform, however as our approach is more business and process oriented than technical one, the GP roles are sometimes too distinct and specific for our purpose.)
The primary business roles are:
· User (Consumer, Card Holder)
· Secure Element Owner – Issuer (SEI)
· Service Provider (SP)
These are the actors, who are in business relations with each other. One provides the service, one provides the storage space, and the Consumer makes use of these two elements.
In certain situations – specific market conditions, introductory time periods, etc. – secondary business roles may be identified. These roles are usually also independent actors as well.
· Delegated Card Manager – Card Capacity Wholesaler (the entity, who buys the capacity of the secure element in bulk and resells it to the service providers – if this entity only provides technical support for the SEI we do not consider it a secondary business actor, but a technical support function.)
· Application Consolidator (the entity who bundles together independent services and sells them as a combined service portfolio),
· Card Manager (in case the owner of the secure element is the User itself, then the Card Manager appears in the interactions on its behalf.)
The appearance of these actors, with the exception of the Card Manager, should rather be an exception to the general model than the normal way of operation. We think that except for the SIM architecture, in the normal course of business consumers will own their secure element(s), be it either embedded SE, microSD or any other possible form factor.
To perform the technical logistics of post issuance application distribution and remote card content management technical support roles are necessary.
· Security Domain Manager (SDM), - TSM
· Application Provider (AP)
· Card Control Authority (CCA)
· User support operation
These roles are either performed in-house, or may be outsourced to independent entities. If 3rd party actors are carrying out these activities these are interacting with each other in the technical processes, but are not involved in the primary business relationships. These parties should be considered as technical subcontractors, acting on behalf of the primary business partners.
There are also the internal technical roles, which the primary business actors may need to have (in-house or externally) in order to be able to perform the requested operations.
· Application Certification Authority (ACA) - (for the Service Provider)
· Terminal manager - (for the Service Provider)
· Host developer – (for the Owner/Issuer of the Secure Element)
These functions are invisible for the external partners.