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...