MediaTek Offers a New Mobile Payments Platform for Equipment Makers

September 8, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

In recent years, we’ve seen just about every major mobile device platform offer up its own mobile payment system, usually with the word “Pay” involved somewhere therein. A new move from MediaTek, meanwhile, should make it easier for the stragglers to get in on the action as it brought out a new near-field communications (NFC) based system designed to let most any smartphone maker add mobile payments capability to its devices.

The MediaTek system uses STMicroelectronics’ line of NFC systems to serve as a one-stop shop for adding mobile payments technology to systems. With the MediaTek system, issues that previously were project-ending trouble for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like antenna integration and miniaturization become much easier to surmount. Plus, interoperability issues—the ability for a product to work with other products—would likewise be reduced thanks to the more universal nature of NFC systems.

Since MediaTek is currently the second-largest supplier of mobile handset systems in the world, adding STMicroelectronics’ capability to its operations will only improve matters. Adding the new technology, reports note, will help provide better performance, which increases the chances that users will turn to the comparatively new technology.

Marie-France Florentin, who serves as STMicroelectronics’ group vice president and general manager for the secure microcontroller division, commented “While ST has for years been providing to customers its own robust NFC and RFID technology, the ST21NFCD is the first device from ST to integrate the market-proven booster technology ST recently acquired.”

Under normal circumstances, breaking into this market would be a lot tougher than normal, because so many devices already have mobile payments systems in place. However, this is a device-specific development, so device makers will be able to effectively establish a walled garden of sorts using its own user base as the starting market. That’s a development that might prove successful, particularly in regions where Apple and Samsung don’t already have dominance.

The new MediaTek development could be just the thing to pull some smaller players into the field and give us all some worthwhile new mobile payment developments to consider. It might have a tougher time in established markets, however, but even here there’s room for the lower-cost player to get a foothold.