User Centric Design of an NFC Mobile Wallet Framework

University essay from KTH/Skolan för informations- och kommunikationsteknik (ICT)

Author: Ziaul Kabir; [2011]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: Near Field Communication (NFC) among various other things, allows end-users to enjoy contactless mobile services such as credit cards, transport tickets, office access etc. using NFC mobile phones. Such services are placed as software applications inside the secure-chip hardware of the NFC phone – often termed as a Secure Element (SE). Bringing these contactless smart-card services into mobile phones raises the need to allow the end-users to interact and control the information and the communication with secure-chip applications. The display of a mobile phone can easily allow such functionalities as graphical user interface applications. This thesis terms such applications as NFC mobile wallet applications where a mobile wallet is the container for all of these applications. A mobile wallet application for a single service is intended to be used on various phone platforms and often there is a need to keep the consistency and uniform functionalities between the designs. Primarily, this thesis aims to provide the means for the service providers (and for the developers) to design and develop one single wallet application for a particular NFC service and deploy it on various phone platforms using the support of a wallet framework. In order to achieve that, this thesis aims to identify a minimal but adequate set of user interaction functionalities for the mobile wallet services and include their support in the wallet framework. Due to time constraints, only three NFC services: payment, access control, and transport were investigated. Then a lightweight wallet framework was designed that includes support to implement the identified user interaction functionalities as a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) to develop interoperable wallet applications. There were complexities while designing the framework, for example, limited NFC supports on various phone platforms at this writing; however, the thesis achieved the desired goals at the end. Two prototype wallet applications were developed on the basis of the identified minimal functionalities and the wallet framework support. Usability testing was conducted for the prototypes to find usability issues and the applicability of the functionalities in the wallet interface. The result was very positive; the users had little trouble interacting with the wallet applications. Several recommendations were noted from the usability testing mainly on navigating the interface and consistency in the design, which are summarized for the developers as guidelines to develop wallet applications.

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