Payments security groups join forces on chip-education programme

Source: The Payments Security Task Force

The Payments Security Task Force today joined with the PCI Security Standards Council and the EMV Migration Forum to launch a chip education curriculum and “pre-qualification” program to help streamline and simplify the EMV testing and certification process for Value Added Resellers (VARs) and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs).

Through this industry wide effort, VARs and ISVs will better understand how to integrate chip cards into small and mid-sized merchants’ checkout solutions in advance of the October 2015 liability shifts scheduled by major U.S. payment networks.

“One of the greatest challenges in the move to chip is helping the millions of small and mid-sized merchants understand and adopt the technology,” said Stephanie Ericksen, vice president of global risk products at Visa. “A streamlined process will help their payment technology suppliers better prepare and implement chip card acceptance, as the push to chip gains greater traction.”

The optional program consists of three central components:

An educational curriculum that provides a clear explanation of how to implement chip in the U.S. electronic payments marketplace
A list of service providers independently accredited by the major payment networks to provide chip consulting and expertise
A pre-qualification process run by the accredited service providers to help VARs and ISVs begin the implementation and testing process before they work with acquirers to achieve final certification
Major U.S. acquirers participated in the development of the program and will recognize the pre-qualification status. Many plan to provide fast track certification for VARs and ISVs that have demonstrated the execution of solid chip solutions.

“The migration to chip in the U.S. is different from what we have seen occur in other countries and requires greater cooperation and scale,” said Carolyn Balfany, senior vice president, MasterCard. “The industry, through a coordinated effort like this, is best positioned to help merchants and their partners accelerate the implementation of chip to deliver their customers a safer shopping experience.”

“Successful EMV implementation in the U.S. requires cross-industry efforts to prepare for the migration and collaboration across key payments players. Similar cross-industry efforts will streamline EMV deployment and maximize resource effectiveness, driving a more secure consumer payments experience,” said Nicole Carroll, vice president of global products and solutions, Discover.

How It Works

The coordinated effort will begin with the launch of educational resources for the VAR and ISV communities to establish an understanding of chip technology. Some of the subjects addressed through targeted webinars and self-service web portals include:

The basics of chip card technology
How to build a business case for chip
An overview of a chip card transaction
How to navigate the testing and certification process.
With that foundation, each VAR and ISV should have the ability to pre-qualify its solution for each of the major U.S. payment networks. The VAR would then work with its acquirer to receive a final certification of the solutions a merchant would need to process a chip card transaction.

The result will be a streamlined, go-to-market process for the thousands of solutions that will provide ongoing value over the next two to three years, as the U.S. migrates to chip.

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