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The challenges associated with EMV going global

One topic debated at Cartes last week and one which I've heard increasingly raised in recent months is the globalisation of EMV. As EMV is introduced into more regions, individual countries are attempting to integrate local characteristics from country-specific legacy systems into the EMV standard. In Australia for example, consumers are able to do ‘account selection' at the point of sale, which is achieved by going to the host to enquire on the account. This option is being integrated into the EMV standard and will be mandatory for Australia.

This scenario raises the approach of multiple application selection based on the card as opposed to multiple account selection based on the host. Having multiple applications on the card seems to me to be an approach that would fit the EMV ethos much better. However, the Australians argue that with multiple application selection, the cards would have to be re-issued if accounts changed. But, since people do not change their accounts very often, surely a better approach would be post-issuance application download? This approach would allow for accounts to be opened and closed as appropriate.

Apparently, choice of account is being hotly debated by the European Payments Council as part of SEPA. Maybe this could be a driver towards NFC, allowing both existing single payment infrastructures to co-exist with the new choice providing technology?

As EMV extends its reach into a larger number of domestic systems, there needs to be greater compromise and more added features in order to meet the legacy environment. Or, is this the cue for true worldwide EFT standards? Only time will tell...


Comments: (2)

Joe Pitcher
Joe Pitcher - Irrelevant - Wirral 11 November, 2008, 10:43Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

EMV (and the card schemes) do allow for multi-application cards with more than 1 account on them. The issue, in regard to post issuance personalisation, from my perspective is not with EMV but with the rules of card schemes and issuing banks.

For example would HSBC allow me to add my new Barclays account to their Chip card? Would Visa allow me to add a Maestro application to my credit card?

The answer on these is no. EMV does not hinder this the schemes/banks do. The card is merely the vehicle for payment at the current time. I don't see this restriction changing if the payment is made via NFC/Mobile/some other technology. As a consumer I wish it would


A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 November, 2008, 03:09Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Perhaps there's room in the mix for a 'mobile' account that let's the customer select which bank/account/card (which may be left at home) that the customer wants to use to pay for that particular purchase?

Give 'em what they want while the banks compete for stuffing proprietary apps on to the card that was left at home?