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US Department of Defence explores adoption of combined EMV payments and ID cards

28 September 2010  |  12111 views  |  2 Statue of Liberty

The US Department of Defence is considering adding EMV-compliant pre-paid payment capabilities to its chip-based ID card for military personnel and staff.

The DoD has issued a request for information on the possibility of adding payment functionality to the Common Access Card, which is issued to all military and reserve personnel, civilian employees, other non-DoD government employees, state employees of the National Guard, and contractors.

The RFI document says the Department is "exploring options to provide an end-to-end enterprise solution by adding electronic payment functionality to identity cards using commercially-adopted, standards-based systems to enable the CAC/PIV card to act as an open loop, pre-paid, payment card".

The document stresses the application of commonly applied business standards, to ensure maximum usability and create the conditions for a government-wide platform applicable to all publicly-issued ID cards.

Critically, "the payment solution must be EMV-compliant on both the contact and contactless interfaces and fully functional at all EMV point of sale terminals or ATMs world-wide, where EMV is adopted," the document states.

If the initiative gets off the ground, it could kick-start the uptake of EMV-based chip cards in the commercial and banking sector, which is lagging the rest of world in the move to more secure chip and PIN payment technology.

Comments: (2)

David Carr
David Carr - European Prepaid Consultants - Middx | 29 September, 2010, 10:58

This is a great leap forward for the US market, obviously the US DoD is a huge employer and this could increase pressure on the use of EMV cards across the USA.  I have not seen the RFI so cannot comment too much on the content however would be interested to know whether the option of including a RFID application is also being considered.  In my opinion this could be an added enhancement for use both on and off Military sites as well as on the floating cities used by the UN Navy.

I look forward to hearing more about this in the future.

David Carr

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Nick Collin
Nick Collin - Collin Consulting Ltd - London | 02 December, 2010, 16:54

Yes, this is potentially a hugely significant development.  I haven't seen the RFP either but it sounds interesting.  I wonder if they've considered adding remote chip authentication (RCA) functionality to the EMV chip cards.  That would seem to be a natural step to enable DoD staff to logon to DoD systems securely from wherever they are in the world.  I know the UK MOD have deployed such a scheme based on MasterCard's CAP technology.

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