As the demand to use mobile phones as payment terminals grows stronger and stronger, the need to test the NFC functionality and communication with all sorts of DUTs (Devices under test) rises as well. This can be explained by the mobile phone being able to utilise all sorts of features, gradually reducing various form factors used in everyday life. In short: Debit card, keyfobs, wristbands and NFC chips will be combined to one main device which people carry around most of the time in their pockets.

To get a similar transaction experience, as with known payment terminals some sort of testing is needed to ensure a seamless operating system in real-life situations. We at CISC have several years of experience in providing NFC Interoperability Tests with EMVCo approved payment terminals and are extending the test set-up with Android-based mobile phones running an mPOS application.

What is the mPOS application?
The mPOS application for Android devices used for the testing is self-developed and focuses only on the relevant information in the APDU command/response exchange to get a successful transaction. If an issue pops up, then results like error or timeout are given by the application. Below is a list showing the communication stages (EMV steps) of an exchange between a DUT and a payment terminal (mobile phone) where the commands can be defined as needed.

  • Select PPSE
  • Select AID
  • GPO
  • Read Record
  • Generate Application Cryptogram

How does a test run work?
Usually, the customer delivers the DUT to be tested to our lab and requests a full test run where all mobile phones are implemented or requests testing of only certain phones. The testing will then be done by CISC and regular updates of the progress will be delivered. In the end, we send a detailed test report with valuable insights to the customer.


What is the expected result of one of those test runs?
The customer receives a test report containing tables and pictures of the tested points. With this information retests at the same positions can be done again due to the setup of the test environment.

Therefore, the possibility is given to modify the DUT to improve the performance and check the changes at exactly the desired testing point or points. This can be done as the customer is able to ask for debugging information at desired points. The debugging is usually done by CISC but there is also the possibility to come by at the lab to debug themselves. That means the customer can rent the lab for themselves.

Is there only one way of NFC testing possible?
Usually, there is a default NFC Interoperability Test but a customer-specific test run, that differs from a default test setup, is possible as well. That means additional requirements/conditions can be implemented and/or tested.

Below is a picture of the described test environment with an inserted plate containing selected mobile phones.

How up-to-date are the mobile phones used in these tests?
The mobile phones will be expanded regularly to keep up with the market and provide the latest testing possibilities for best interoperability. Mobile phones will usually be kept until it loses significance on the market. The customer can also request certain mobile phones to be tested if such phones are not in our system yet.

How are the NFC antenna centers of mobile phones defined?First, the general area of the NFC antenna center provided by the manufacturer is located. Afterward, an internal process gets started to determine the center for providing the point with the strongest field.

If you are interested in our NFC Interoperability Test solution, please get in touch with us or request the technical report file on NFC Interoperability Tests with mPOS setup procedures.

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