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EMV Migration Forum sees progress in important areas as US moves to EMV chip payments

The U.S. migration to EMV chip payment technology is moving forward, and the cross-industry EMV Migration Forum and its Working Committees report significant progress in determining and addressing critical issues and implementation steps to ensure the migration is a success.

This includes addressing the complex technical requirements for EMV debit implementation, for which the Forum’s new Debit Technical Work Group was formed in November.

"Though the U.S. has a complex payments ecosystem and faces ongoing regulatory uncertainties concerning debit, EMV Migration Forum members are committed to advancing U.S. EMV migration and achieving the technology’s benefits — reducing fraud, promoting global interoperability and providing a path to future payments innovation," said Randy Vanderhoof, director of the EMV Migration Forum. "While the U.S. still has challenges to address, real progress has been made in our migration."

Industry progress of note includes: Acquirers have met the 2013 mandate for EMV readiness and are deploying EMV to their merchants as part of the normal upgrade path; ATM providers are actively deploying EMV-enabled ATMs; millions of EMV chip payment cards are in the marketplace; and merchants are investing in hardware upgrades to accept the payments.

Helping to propel the industry forward are the EMV Migration Forum Working Committees, which continue to make progress through industry cooperation:

Debit Working Committee and Debit Technical Work Group: With the July 31st ruling overturning the Fed’s implementation of the Durbin Amendment, the Debit Working Committee has formed a Technical Work Group to examine technical solutions that can satisfy current and potential future regulatory requirements, whether at least two debit routing choices are required for each card, or for each transaction.

As part of its work, the Debit Technical Work Group intends to deliver a technical proposal for Forum membership and industry consideration, setting forth a debit solution framework intended to follow the EMV specification and meet the unique technical and regulatory requirements of the U.S. debit market. Adoption of the proposed framework and specific technical solutions by individual industry stakeholders will ultimately depend on their own independent business decisions, considerations and circumstances.

The Committee’s Technical Work Group has participation from chip card and POS application experts representing the entire payments ecosystem, including regional debit network, major card brand, merchant, issuer, merchant acquirer, issuer processor and industry supplier members, and all are contributing their collective expertise and unique technical requirements for a debit solution.

ATM Working Committee: The Committee is providing input, solutions and expertise to the ATM channel as it migrates to EMV chip technology. The Committee is working on a white paper, "Implementing EMV at the ATM," a complete implementation and planning guide for ATM acquirers, processors and vendors for implementing EMV chip technology in the U.S. ATM infrastructure.

Testing and Certification Working Committee: The Committee is progressing in providing the critical education on the testing and certification requirements for all stakeholders depending on their role in the ecosystem. The Committee’s white paper, "Current U.S. Payment Brand Requirements for the Acquiring Community," is available today for industry-wide use. The Committee is moving forward with an assessment of the current testing and certification processes to determine if processes can be streamlined.

Communication and Education Working Committee: The Committee is making progress on projects to help build resources for the essential education piece of EMV chip migration for industry participants and consumers. The Committee’s Standardization of Terminology is available today as an industry resource for educational and marketing communications, and the Committee is working on a set of recommended best practices for messaging and branding to consumers.

Card-Not-Present Fraud Working Committee: While card-present fraud drops significantly, countries that have implemented EMV chip technology have reported a rise in card-not-present (CNP) fraud. Utilizing best practices from other markets and analyzing today’s online fraud tools, this Committee is creating a comprehensive best practices strategy to mitigate against an increase in CNP fraud following U.S. EMV migration.

U.S. Coordination Working Committee: Having identified industry coordination as integral to achieving a successful migration, this Committee continues to work on defining a potential "Phase One" EMV project in a focused geography with the goal of generating efficient and consistent operations and messaging across the industry.

Earlier this month, the Forum had its most well-attended meeting to date with 240 individuals from 151 members companies. The EMV Migration Forum’s next one-day Working Committee meeting will be held Feb. 3, 2014 in Salt Lake City, and the next two-day member conference will be held March 11-12, 2014 in Boston.