Discover Financial Services has fallen in line behind larger rivals Visa and MasterCard, setting out a timetable for the US abandonment of mag-stripe cards in favour of EMV chip technology
In August Visa set out a three-step plan to encourage dynamic chip authentication adoption, requiring US processors to be able to support merchant acceptance of the technology by April 2013 before switching liability to retailers that have not upgraded in October 2015.
At the beginning of the year MasterCard followed suit and now Discover has promised to implement a 2013 EMV mandate for acquirers and direct-connect merchants in the US, as well as Canada and Mexico.
"This industry alignment will streamline certification and deployment efforts and enable a manageable transition for all parties involved, including issuers, merchants and acquirers," says the firm.
Discover says that its approach to EMV is "both universal and choice-centric," meaning the company will not restrict any channel, verification process or transaction type, supporting:
- All card authentication channels - including online and offline
- All cardholder verification methods - including both chip and PIN or chip and signature
- All commerce channels - including contact and contactless (including mobile)
Troy Bernard, global head, chip payment technology, Discover, says: "Enabling EMV in North America is a significant step in Discover's approach toward emerging payments, and clearly a necessary one. We believe each payment solution should enable choice and security within its transaction environment, which is why when it comes to EMV, we're giving stakeholders choice and flexibility on how they implement it."