Emulate Mifare DESFire

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  • 29. March 2016 at 14:17
    Hi all,

    I wonder if it is possible to emulate these cards with nfc/hce for some banking application, so its users are able to just use their mobile devices to pay and pass easily.

    Thanks in advance,

    Best regards.
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    Re: Emulate Mifare DESFire

    30. March 2016 at 9:16
    Hi Drumess,

    I am afraid that I must disappoint you. No serious operator of smartcard products will offer a “software emulation” on a phone. It is compromised quickly and all sensitive data can be disclosed easily.

    If you see banking operations or ticketing with a phone, it deals always with a chip connected to the NFC controller of the phone. This chip is called “Secure Element” and contains one or more smartcards on the silicon. I never use the term “emulation” because there is no emulation! The bank card or the transport ticket is implemented in the Secure Element and runs on the silicon with the same high security standards as on a smartcard.

    NXP offers solutions for mobile ticketing and you can get every MIFARE product also as combined NFC/Secure Element “embedded on a phone” product. It is called MIFARE4Mobile and you can get more information here:


    Kind regards,
    The MIFARE Team
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    Re: Emulate Mifare DESFire

    24. January 2018 at 13:02
    Hi there,

    Is this information still correct?
    According to Google they don't use the Secure Element
    Apple Pay does, but not Android Pay
    Also it is explicitly referred to as Host Card *Emulation* (so I see where OP was coming from!) Is it not this?

    What is the difference between MIFARE4Mobile (yucky name!!!) and your Android SDK?

    Sorry if these are stupid questions, I'm new to NFC and see lots of conflicting information
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    Re: Emulate Mifare DESFire

    30. January 2018 at 10:30
    Hi Saik,

    MIFARE4Mobile is the NXP solution for MIFARE products (Classic and DESFire) on a secure element. Therefore you need access to the SE which is not possible on a regular phone (which is not rooted).

    TapLinx, our solution for Android developers, helps to work with NXP NFC products in front of the NFC reader of the phone. This run on every device which supports NFC.

    The TapLinx team
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    Re: Emulate Mifare DESFire

    30. January 2018 at 11:12
    Hey there TapLinx, thanks for getting back!

    So does this mean that the TapLinx SDK capable of DESfire HCE [on an Android device of course]?
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    Re: Emulate Mifare DESFire

    31. January 2018 at 9:19
    Hi Saik,

    No! TapLinx has nothing to do with virtual cards. It allows user written Android software (in user space) to operate with cards in front of the NFC reader.

    What you want is a virtual card on a secure element (SE). I tried to explain that you need access to the SE which is not possible on a “regular” device, even if such device contains a SE.

    The TapLinx team

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    Re: Emulate Mifare DESFire

    31. January 2018 at 12:44
    Hello again,

    Ahh that's a shame, I'm not even sure modern Android devices *have* a Secure Element.
    I misunderstood what you were trying to accomplish with your SDK.

    Regardless, with a bit of work, I discovered that I was able to use HCE to emulate a card, and use APDU as a wrapper to chat to it from my reader/writer.
    This suits my needs - It was just incredibly difficult to get my head around and I naively thought you guys might have done some of that work as part of your SDK's USP.

    What can I use your SDK for, if not abstracting HCE?
    What are its advantages over Android's NFC/HCE classes?
    What if my device doesn't have an SE? In this case do you do something else to present cards in front of the NFC reader?

    Thanks for getting back to me, have a nice day

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    Re: Emulate Mifare DESFire

    17. August 2018 at 10:48

    We have a loyalty system based on MIFARE cards distributed to our users.
    When approached to the NFC reader, the card owner is able to use their loyalty points.
    My goal is to create a mobile application with NFC support that can securely emulate the MIFARE DESFire card. I’m not saying that I want to scan a card and then be able to emulate it. Actually, we think of that as a privileged HCE application, the user installs it and authenticate to our system to add his card, then he should be able to use his mobile phone instead of the card to perform operations.
    Please advise if this project can be supported and what are the requirements to make it happen?
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    Re: Emulate Mifare DESFire

    20. August 2018 at 9:32
    Hi Dima

    I am not aware of any legal possibility with can emulate a MIFARE DESFire as user app on a phone.

    The TapLinx team

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    Re: Emulate Mifare DESFire

    20. August 2018 at 15:42
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