American Express has joined MasterCard, Visa and JCB as an owner-member of EMVCo, the standards body set up to manage and maintain the global EMV 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, with its stake in EMVCo divided between the other two. JCB joined in 2004, buying a one-third stake.
Amex has now acquired a one-fourth share from the holdings of the other three and gains representation on the organisation's executive committee and board of managers.
It will also have equal participation in working groups, which cover a range of issues, including security and contactless and mobile payments.
Susan Hillel, SVP, global network operations, American Express, says: "We are committed to driving interoperability in payments and know that our participation in EMVCo will facilitate this for our merchant, issuer and cardmember customers. Involvement by the four major payment organisations will drive secure and interoperable payments globally for transactions made with chip cards by aligning and progressing EMV Specifications."