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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

EMV certification for ATMC

INDEPENDENT Automated Teller Machine Deployer (IAD), ATM Consortium (ATMC), has completed Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) certification interface, making it the first independent ATM operator in the country to implement the highly secured chip-based e-payment platform.

ATMC which also operates the QuickCash brand of ATM network, said the EMV certification interface was part of the pre-requisites for the acceptance of Visa International payment card transaction on QuickCash ATMs.

Managing Director, ATMC Nigeria, Mr. Noble Ekajeh, said that his firm and ValuCard Nigeria Plc, jointly acquired the Visa transactions in the country, even as interconnectivity and interoperability pilot scheme commenced in 2006 after the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which he noted would initially run for a six-month pilot phase.

He also said that the pact enables all QuickCash ATMs deployed by ATMC to accept Visa International card payment products, stressing that the EMV standard defines the interaction at the physical, electrical, data and application levels between chip cards and its card processing devices for financial transactions.

He explained that EMV is the international standard for interoperation of chip cards and chip capable ATMs and Point of Sale (PoS), for authenticating credit and debit card payments and that the name EMV was deriven from Europay, MasterCard and Visa; three companies that originally cooperated to develop the standard.

“With the completion of the interface certification, ATMC will soon commence acceptance of Visa cards on any of its QuickCash ATM where Visa cardholders see the Visa acceptance sign. This exercise, which would commence in phases, would begin with 61 NCR brands of ATMs on its network, while the Wincor and Diebold brands of its cash machines would follow soon,” he said.

Mr. Ekajeh emphasised that with 61 locations spread across Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Benin and Enugu in the initial pilot phase, the QuickCash ATM network has become the most widely deployed and single largest Visa card accepting ATMs in Nigeria.

He pointed out that his company is pleased to accept the use of Visa payment cards, an internationally renowned electronic payment brand at its ATM facilities.

As said by him, ATM usage is all about convenience and ATMC is determined to continue to offer this by providing the widest acceptance possible to foreign and locally issued cards.

“With the launch of this new acceptance service, a combined user base of over 300 million cardholders worldwide now has access to our ATM facilities. We take great happiness in making it possible for cardholders of the largest payment association in the world to access their money in Nigeria through QuickCash ATM footprint. This attests to our commitment to continuously offer customers privileged ATM access, innovative and value-add services wherever they are in the country,” Ekajeh said.

He added that this new development would especially encourage foreigners to spend locally as they would no longer need to go through the difficulties and dangers associated with conversion of foreign currencies to local currency through bureaux de change.

The Managing Director of ValuCard Nigeria Plc, Mr. Kyari Bukar, also applauded the tenacity and foresight of the management of ATMC for the bold step in joining the global payment system, as the teeming number of Visa cardholders in Nigeria would now have more access to ATMs.

“By this achievement ATMC would contribute significantly in migrating Nigerians to the card culture, which in the long run would help to positively stimulate the economy,” he said.

Senior vice president and Visa Nigeria Country Director, Mr. Stephen Hobbs, noted that the initiative represents a major milestone in the establishment of a secure electronic card payment infrastructure in the country, from which Nigerians could take advantage.“With this initiative Nigerians and international travellers can benefit from safe and convenient access to cash as and when they need it,” he said.

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