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Visa and MasterCard launch cross-industry effort to push US adoption of EMV

07 March 2014  |  10844 views  |  4 card chip

In the wake of the Target data breach, rivals MasterCard and Visa have joined forces to create a cross-industry group that will push for greater payment security, beginning with the introduction of EMV chip technology in the US.

The two card giants have not named any members of their new collective but say it will include banks of all sizes, credit unions, acquirers, retailers, point-of-sale device manufacturers and industry trade groups.

Top of the agenda is "advancing" the migration to EMV in the US. Visa and MasterCard have already set out a roadmap for the introduction of chip cards over the next couple of years, with liability for fraud-related loses switching to retailers that have not upgraded their hardware in October 2015.

However, the programme has gained urgency since the Target breach of late last year, which saw hackers infect POS devices and steal the details of around 40 million customer cards.

The scale of the attack has seen some squabbling between retailers and card issuers but has also - under pressure from politicians and regulators - forced industry participants to come together to tackle the security problem.

Ryan McInerney, president, Visa, says: "The recent high-profile breaches have served as a catalyst for much needed collaboration between the retail and financial services industry on the issue of payment security."

Differences between the two sides still remain, however, with retailers pushing Visa and MasterCard to mandate the use of Chip and PIN at the store-front.

The National Retail Federation SVP and general counsel Mallory Duncan says: "We appreciate being involved in meetings with other stakeholders such as the one hosted by Visa and MasterCard. While we certainly agree that speed is of the essence, we don't believe that is an obstacle to introducing PIN and Chip cards since the technology is well established and the cards are widely used around the globe."

While Chip and PIN remains a moot point, the new group will also work to develop other security features such as point-to-point encryption and tokenisation for online and mobile transactions. Visa and MasterCard threw their weight behind tokenisation - where traditional account numbers are replaced with unique digital payment codes - late last year.

Chris McWilton, president, North American Markets, MasterCard, says: "Only through industry collaboration and cooperation will we address the real and immediate issue of security and maintain consumer confidence and trust."

Comments: (4)

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith - CloudZync - London | 09 March, 2014, 07:01

It always seems odd that something that has been proven in Europe to lower fraud, and has been around for many years now, still has yet to be implemented in the USA.

 

The card schemes really do need to push this, and now maybe a great time

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Matthieu Segard
Matthieu Segard - MSCS - Brussels | 09 March, 2014, 20:07

After 20 years.... Good move. And now let's get ready to support the actors in this massive implementation. Lots of resources will be required to update the legacy infrastructures: defines the road maps, define the architectures, select the appropriate vendors, processors, define the business strategies and set up the SLAs accordingly. Lots to do. I don't see much activity around this so far. The most difficult part starts now for the many actors of this market.

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Murray Chapman
Murray Chapman - Zestex Computing Limited - Amersham | 10 March, 2014, 10:28 Legacy systems like BASE24 have supported EMV since 1996 (when it was the UK ICC programme). Let's not use this as an excuse to try and flog new systems.
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Peter Bove
Peter Bove - Aviso - London | 09 July, 2014, 14:28

None of the US interfaces on BASE24 will support EMV though and vendors will be hard pushed to modify them all in the timeframes. However, systems such as Aviso's EMV Wrapper facilitate the migration without the need for wholesale change.

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