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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Visa plans migration to EMV technology

Visa Inc has disclosed plans to accelerate the migration to Europay, MasterCard and VISA (EMV) contact and contactless chip technology in the United States.

Confirming this, the global head of product, Visa Inc, Mr. Jim McCarthy, noted that the adoption of dual-interface chip technology, would help prepare the U.S. payment infrastructure for the arrival of NFC-based mobile payments by building the necessary infrastructure to accept and process chip transactions that support either a signature or PIN at the point of sale.

“By encouraging investments in EMV contact and contactless chip technology, we will speed up the adoption of mobile payments as well as improve international interoperability and security,” he said, stressing that as NFC mobile payments and other chip-based emerging technologies are poised to take off in the coming years, Visa is taking steps to create a commercial framework that will support growth opportunities and create value for all participants in the payment chain.

According to him, not only will chip technology accelerate mobile innovations, it is also expected to secure payments into the future through the use of dynamic authentication.

“Chip technology greatly reduces a criminal’s ability to use stolen payment card data by introducing dynamic values for each transaction,” he said, adding that even if payment card data is compromised, a counterfeit card would be unusable at the point of sale without the presence of the card’s unique elements, hence reducing static authentication, and diminishing the value of stolen cardholder data, benefiting all stakeholders.

Ellen Richey, chief enterprise risk officer, Visa Inc, said “Dynamic authentication is the key to securing 
payments into the future. Adding dynamic elements to transactions makes account data less attractive to steal and takes more merchant systems out of harm’s way, shrinking the battlefield against criminals. The migration to chip technology will be an important security layer and a critical step in a comprehensive strategy to use dynamic authentication across all markets and all channels.”

Globally, he pointed out that Visa would continue to support a range of cardholder verification methods including signature, PIN and no-signature for low-value, low-risk transactions.

“In the longer term, we expect that the use of static verification methods such as signature and PIN will be reduced or eliminated entirely as new and dynamic forms of cardholder verification are implemented,” he said.

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