Why is the U.S. the last holdout to adopt EMV? The pain of a costly conversion and the absence of government or industry mandates to force the issue are the obvious, key culprits. Some forward thinkers, however, muse that EMV is a 15-year old, out-of-date
technology and are waiting for something newer and flashier to “leapfrog” EMV and jump straight to the promise land of mobile payments. While future focused, this thinking is misguided. As Visa’s recently announced U.S. EMV initiative spotlights, EMV adoption
actually readies the landscape for mobile NFC payments now.
The prevalence of chip-and-PIN cards has made EMV synonymous with that specific payment form. In actual fact, however, the EMV standard is constantly updated, and more recent refreshes include basing NFC technology on the contactless version of the EMV specification;
NFC is an EMV transaction. The underlying technology infrastructure is the same as well – transaction processing, risk management and card or token management solutions to name a few.
With nimble payment providers from the “virtual world” – PayPal, Google’s Android and Apple – knocking at the door, financial institutions need to get in on the NFC act soon. These new, flexible players do not have outdated legacy systems to maintain, yet
have experience switching, billing and settling. The financial networks need to recognize the massive opportunity at hand. Today’s tech-savvy consumers have shown that they want to use their mobile devices in all areas of their day-to-day life, including payments.
The waiting game is over; EMV is defining how that newer, flashier technology people have been waiting for is going to operate.