Ahead of Apple’s entry into the mobile payment space next month with the release of Apple Pay for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users, Apple has joined the GlobalPlatform, the non-profit association focused on standards for secure chip technology across various industries, as a full member.
Existing members of GlobalPlatform include various Apple partners and competitors alike with carriers AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon being members as well as handset makers Samsung and BlackBerry. More importantly, Apple Pay partners American Express, MasterCard, and Visa are also members; Discover, which is not yet an Apple Pay partner but has said it is discussions over participation with Apple, is also a member.
As for GlobalPlatform, the non-profit describes the mission below:
GlobalPlatform’s objective is to create a standardized infrastructure that accelerates the deployment of secure applications and their associated assets, such as data and cryptographic keys, while protecting them from physical or software attacks.
Below you can see the addition of Apple as a full member of the group GlobalPlatform.
Apple Pay will combine NFC, or near field communication, found in the new iPhone 6 models with Touch ID, the iPhone’s secure enclave, and the Passbook app on iOS to enable mobile payments at thousands of retailers and venues using the iPhone in place of physical credit cards.
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users will be able to start using Apple Pay after a free update to iOS 8 next month. The Apple Watch slated for release in early 2015 will enable iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s users to take advantage of Apple Pay as well. Developers will be able to use an Apple Pay API to enable their users to purchase physical goods using Apple’s mobile payment service.
Update: GlobalPlatform’s Executive Director Kevin Gillick offered the following comment on Apple’s full membership:
This level of membership offers Apple the broadest possible opportunity to participate in our organization. Full members can access GlobalPlatform’s sector specific task force initiatives, as well as all three technical committees – the card, device and systems committees. This enables engagement in the evolution of the full suite of GlobalPlatform Specifications and their associated compliance programs. As with all full members, Apple is free to pursue leadership positions in the organization, through election to a seat on the Board of Directors or the chairmanship of one of the committees or working groups.