Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) and First Data's STAR® Network announced an agreement to share Visa's common debit solution offering issuers, acquirers and merchants a streamlined and cost-effective approach for debit EMV chip adoption.
EMV cards contain an embedded computer processor or a chip that generates a one-time code for each transaction making it nearly impossible for criminals to counterfeit. This feature will help protect merchants and issuers from fraud losses stemming from counterfeit payment cards used at the point of sale.
The collaboration between these two payments industry leaders on the license agreement will help to enable the development of regulation-compliant debit EMV solutions using a common Application Identifier (AID). First Data's STAR Network will use PIN and no CVM functionality on the common AID to facilitate different types of debit transactions on its network, including PIN, PINless and signature cardholder verification methods. The AID will facilitate U.S. debit transactions from any debit network that licenses the Visa common AID solution and is enabled on a Visa card.
"This agreement is a significant step to accelerate EMV adoption by addressing Regulation II compliance for debit EMV transactions," said Barry McCarthy, president, First Data Financial Services. "First Data's STAR Network is pleased to lead the effort by being one of the first debit networks to take this step and assist issuers, acquirers, and merchants with equal access to a shared EMV chip card technology. Not only does it accelerate the migration to EMV adoption, but also moves the industry a step closer to additional debit payment security," McCarthy added.
With the addition of First Data's STAR Network, Visa debit issuers can now choose among several competing network options for their EMV chip debit cards, while also reducing the complexities of chip implementation.
"Visa's priority is to facilitate the U.S. migration to EMV technology as efficiently and quickly as possible," said Elizabeth Buse, Global Executive, Solutions, Visa Inc. "Under our approach, issuers and merchants will have a streamlined path to achieve the security benefits of EMV while minimizing disruption to legaccy systems."
The common debit solution will both support issuer choice and flexibility, allowing network changes without reissuing cards and merchant and acquiring routing choices without costly host systems reprograming. Minimal updates are required for all when new participants adopt the solution.