Interpretation of mPOS technology security analysis and specification

mPOS is a new type of acceptance product that has emerged in recent years and has been rapidly developed. Many institutions and production companies have carried out various forms of pilot projects. Since mPOS introduces universal smart mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablet computers, and transmits information through the Internet, its security features are different from those of traditional bank card acceptance terminals. At the same time, the market has different understandings of mPOS meanings, and the security level is uneven. Therefore, it also poses a greater challenge to security management. Based on the research results of the UnionPay Terminal Working Group and the newly released "China UnionPay mPOS General Technical Security Requirements" (hereinafter referred to as "Requirements"), this paper interprets the mPOS technology concept, security objectives and technical requirements, and proposes the security of system application deployment. Examples of scenarios are available for communication and reference.

First, UnionPay mPOS technology concept

mPOS is a holistic concept that includes end devices and related applications. Specifically, the mobile cash register operation is carried out by the mobile communication device (including the payment application software carried by the mobile communication device), and the external special acceptance terminal completes the collection and encryption of the information of the UnionPay card, and the transaction is completed by the mobile communication device and the background processing system. The front-end dedicated hardware and software equipment involved in the process is called mPOS.


The above definitions reflect the following important concepts:

(1) "Mobile" equipment

The name "mPOS" was first popular outside the country, and it was called "mobile POS". Joining "mobile" reflects the "mobile" characteristics of this type of product: one is to reflect the participation of "mobile communication equipment" in the acceptance of bank card payment; the second is to reflect that the private terminal is also mobile and portable.

However, mPOS is not equivalent to the Chinese translation of "mobile POS" in the domestic market. Because the domestic industry is accustomed to refer to wireless POS and handheld POS as “mobile POS”, the English abbreviation “mPOS” is generally used directly in various technical standards, business rules, and promotional materials. “Mobile POS” often has another He pointed.

(2) Merchants' receipt

UnionPay mPOS is a acceptance product for the purpose of merchants' receipt of goods and the acquisition level as a security target, which is different from overseas. The offshore (for example, the US) market has a wide mPOS concept, including mobile phone external card readers such as Square, mobile phone integrated card reader products, and products in the definition of UnionPay. The domestic market distinguishes between personal payment and merchant receipt, and sets different business, risk and technical requirements, and management methods also have large differences. Square card and other mobile phone card readers, mini pay and other Internet IC card terminals are personal payment products, defined by the corresponding technical standards and business rules, not within the definition of UnionPay mPOS.

(3) mPOS is the overall concept

The mPOS in the standard and management rules includes the hardware device part (dedicated external receiving terminal) and the payment software part (application software on the mobile communication device), and the simple external device cannot be equivalent to mPOS. In fact, the front end of the entire system also includes mobile communication devices such as mobile phones and tablet computers (technically referred to as "host computers"). However, since the upper computer is a general electronic product and is not financially customized, it is generally not required or restricted.

(4) Highly demanding external terminals

The external receiving terminal in mPOS is a dedicated security device, which needs to complete operations such as card reading, PIN input, data encryption and decryption, prompt information display, etc., and has higher security than personal payment terminals such as mobile phone card readers. It is also a key factor in its application to merchants' receipts and from personal payment devices.

Second, mPOS system abstract architecture


The abstract architecture of the mPOS system and the functions of its components are illustrated in the figure above. Based on this, mPOS has flexibility in its specific form.

In the external mode, the receiving terminal can be connected to a host computer such as a mobile phone through a wired method such as a Micro-USB or a wireless method such as Bluetooth.


On mobile communication devices, there is no restriction on the type of device - it can be a smart phone, a tablet, etc.; it does not limit the operating environment - mainly refers to the operating system, which can be Android, iOS, Windows, etc.

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