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The EMV clock is running

3/10/2014   category: EMV Migration

With a drop-dead deadline of October 2015 looming over U.S. adoption of Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) technology and recent breaches involving major retailers, proponents of EMV are ratcheting up the rhetoric. Senior executives from both Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide put the card industry on notice that there is no time left to debate the move from mag stripe to chip and PIN authorizations for securing U.S. credit and debit card payments.

Also, the National Retail Federation released an infographic in February 2014 explaining to members and consumers why they should embrace chip and PIN technologies. "You wouldn't want to rely on a signature to get cash out of an ATM, so why rely on a signature when you use a credit or debit card?" Craig Shearman, Vice President of Government Affairs Public Relations at the NRF, asked in a Feb. 25 blog post discussing the group's position on EMV.

EMV PayTech360EMV refers to a set of standards for securing card payment data that is widely used in Europe and Asia. The underlying objective is to ensure global interoperability and acceptance of secure card payments. The acronym refers to the original creators of the standard, Europay (now part of MasterCard), MasterCard and Visa. All the major card brands now back EMV.

In the 15 years since it was introduced, EMV has evolved from a chip card specification; it now includes several other enabling technologies, such as EMV contactless. In January, EMVCo, the technical body that oversees the EMV standards process, launched a new initiative to standardize payment tokenization. Tokenization replaces a payment card account number with a unique token, which ensures that merchants and processors do not store payment card information.

Christina Hulka, Chair of the EMVCo board of managers, described tokenization as a natural next step for EMV. "We recognize that applying EMV Co's expertise in identifying and implementing a common infrastructure in this area will make online and mobile transactions simpler and safer for all payment stakeholders," she said in a statement about the project.

At present, however, the focus is on getting everyone on board with chip and PIN interoperability, and the United States has been a major holdout. A timetable for U.S. migration set April 2013 as the date by which all merchant acquirers had to be able to support merchant acceptance of EMV chip cards. A liability shift from issuers to acquirers will begin October 2015 for counterfeit card fraud losses originating at non-EMV compliant terminals. Acquirers can be expected to pass on those losses to noncompliant merchants who become breached.


Read more here: greensheet.com

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