U.S. startup Cortex MCP is lining up pilots for its mobile wallet technology, which does not require any hardware modification to consumers’ mobile devices, the company said. Instead of storing users’ payment credentials on a smartphone’s secure element, Cortex MCP provides a 20-digit sequence to authenticate mobile payments at the point of sale.
Cortex MCP CEO Shaunt Sarkissian said the company’s technology provides a more secure method of authentication than other mobile wallet offerings, while integrating with existing POS terminals.
Mission Viejo, Calif.-based Cortex MCP was founded in 2012 by Sarkissian; Michael Arner, the company’s chief technology officer; and Rob Stringer, vice president of product development. The three men all previously worked at mPOS developer ROAM Data, a subsidiary of POS terminal vendor Ingenico.
Cortex MCP received initial funding from angel investors and is currently going through Series A funding with institutional investors, Sarkissian said.
Cortex MCP’s Reducing Currency Denomination technology provides an alternative to using secure elements or the cloud for mobile payments at the point of sale, according to Sarkissian. Secure elements provide tamper-resistant storage of a cardholder’s payment credentials on a smartphone’s SIM card.
“The problem with secure elements is that politics gets involved,” he said. “The issue becomes, who owns the secure element, the mobile operator or the credit card issuer?”
Cortex MCP’s business model involves licensing its technology to mobile wallet providers, alternative payments network operators and financial institutions. “We’re working with major players in mobile payments, which have existing virtual relationships with consumers,” Sarkissian said. “We’re similar to ‘Intel Inside,’ in that our licensees will white-label our platform and put their brand on it.”
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