Japanese card issuer JCB has acquired a one-third ownership in EMVCo, the company set up to manage and maintain the global chip card specifications.
EMVCo was formed in February 1999 by Europay, MasterCard and Visa to manage and maintain EMV standards to ensure interoperability and acceptance of chip-based payment applications on a global basis. Europay was merged with MasterCard in 2002. Europay's stake in EMVCo was then divided between MasterCard and Visa.
JCB now has an equal interest in the EMVCo organisation along with MasterCard and Visa and will appoint representatives to the EMVCo board of managers and the executive committee, as well as its working groups.
JCB has been deploying an EMV-compliant infrastructure since 2001 and expects half of its 51 million branded cards to be EMV compliant by April 2005.
Art Kranzley, chair of the EMVCo executive committee and executive vice president and chief e-business officer at MasterCard, says: "JCB's status as a global payment organisation, coupled with its participation in the Japanese and Asian smart card markets, aligns well with EMVCo's goal to ensure worldwide interoperability of smart card payment systems through the EMV Specifications."