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MasterCard Proposes Industry Group to Drive EMV Adoption

MasterCard Proposes Cross-Industry Group to Help in Migration of EMV Technology in United States

In an effort to spur collaboration between stakeholders that could benefit from the adoption of EMV technology in the United States, MasterCard on Monday proposed the formation of a cross-industry group that it believes would help issuers, merchants, acquirers, processors, terminal and card manufacturers, and others push the technology forward.

“EMV” technology—the name coming from its original creators Europay, MasterCard, and Visa—uses an embedded microchip and a personal identification number (PIN) to validate the card, its owner, and authorize payment transactions instead of a cardholder’s signature.

MasterCard says that in support of a successful shift to EMV, a cross-industry group would focus on several key areas, including:

• Providing guidance on non-proprietary technical issues and standardizing the consumer experience

• Creating a set of common terms, descriptions and guidelines for EMV-enabled cards, devices and terminals

• Sharing and implementing best practices to simplify the implementation and consumer education processes

“We recognize that this next step toward a world beyond cash has raised a number of questions among our customers from baseline standards to timelines and implications,” said Chris McWilton, president, U.S. Markets, MasterCard. “Industry collaboration has proven to be critical to the successful migration to EMV in other parts of the world. It’s our goal to bring the industry together in an objective forum. This will continue to move the U.S. forward and allow all to gain the maximum advantage from the upgrade to EMV.”

So far, MasterCard says industry support for such an organization is strong. “We support the efforts to bring all parties involved in EMV together,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director, Smart Card Alliance. “It is critical that the industry come together to collaborate around key topics to have a common framework and processes in place to ensure a successful upgrade of U.S. payments technology. We look forward to discussing how the Smart Card Alliance can play a key role in the formation of this industry forum.”

“The migration to EMV in the U.S. is inevitable. We can anticipate that there will continue to be a strong push to migrate to a new chip and PIN payment architecture in the United States, fueled by multi-national merchants who have seen fraud/chargeback benefits from implementations in other parts of the world,” according to Christopher Justice in a SecurityWeek column.

“The migration will be neither fast nor inexpensive, requiring a hefty investment in new technology and new processes. Both merchants and consumers will need to continue to build a compelling business case for migration to chip and PIN cards in order to convince issuers and acquirers to change the payment infrastructure that is currently in place,” Justice added.

According to MasterCard, early discussions for launching the group have begun, and details will be made available over the next few weeks, as the industry comes together to create a more formal structure.