The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality. In the last three years alone, there have been over 156,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Cybersecurity in retail: payment card emulators. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 115,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the retail industry, there are 50+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Payment card emulators is a key innovation area in cybersecurity

Payment card emulators encompass both hardware and software solutions crafted to replicate payment cards, including credit, debit, and smart cards. Their primary purpose is to facilitate secure testing and analysis of payment systems, eliminating the requirement for actual payment cards during these processes. These emulators are equipped with diverse components, ranging from tactile sensing user interfaces and input buttons to two-dimensional capacitive sensor arrays, communication modules, secure memory, and rechargeable energy storage devices.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of payment card emulators.

Key players in payment card emulators – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to payment card emulators

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
AB Dynamics 103 Unlock Company Profile
Digimarc 86 Unlock Company Profile
DeviceFidelity 71 Unlock Company Profile
Semiconductor Energy Laboratory 22 Unlock Company Profile
Mastercard 17 Unlock Company Profile
Bundesdruckerei 15 Unlock Company Profile
Dominion Harbor Enterprises 14 Unlock Company Profile
Bank of America 13 Unlock Company Profile
Thales 12 Unlock Company Profile
Elan Microelectronics 9 Unlock Company Profile
NXP Semiconductors 8 Unlock Company Profile
Dashpass 7 Unlock Company Profile
SAP 6 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker 5 Unlock Company Profile
Visa 5 Unlock Company Profile
Capital One Financial 5 Unlock Company Profile
Morgan Stanley 4 Unlock Company Profile
Center ID 4 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 4 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 4 Unlock Company Profile
MC Familiengesellschaft 3 Unlock Company Profile
Center ID 3 Unlock Company Profile
Block 3 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 3 Unlock Company Profile
JPMorgan Chase 3 Unlock Company Profile
Pendrell 3 Unlock Company Profile
LaserCard 2 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 2 Unlock Company Profile
Thales Digital Identity and Security 1 Unlock Company Profile
USAA 1 Unlock Company Profile
Kioba Processing 1 Unlock Company Profile
Oracle 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Leading patent filers in the payment card emulators space include AB Dynamics, Digimarc, DeviceFidelity, and Mastercard. Mastercard operates as a global payment processing corporation, offering a comprehensive suite of transaction processing services. It also ensures the secure evaluation and analysis of payment systems within its operations. Utilizing advanced technologies like sensors and artificial intelligence, the company effectively evaluates cyber risks and implements preventive measures to safeguard its digital ecosystem.

In terms of application diversity, DeviceFidelity leads the pack, while Digimarc and Semiconductor Energy Laboratory stand in the second and third positions, respectively.

By geographic reach, DeviceFidelity held the top spot, followed by AB Dynamics and Dominion Harbor Enterprises.

The major advantages of payment card emulators are to ensure the safety of testing procedures, minimize the risk of data breaches during evaluation, and foster the development of resilient payment systems. In a continually evolving digital transaction landscape, payment card emulators contribute significantly to bolstering cybersecurity by safeguarding sensitive financial information and boosting overall cybersecurity against cyber threats.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cybersecurity in Retail.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.