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Cross-industry committee to help American businesses adopt EMV credit cards

By , CardRatings contributor
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New leaders will help the retail and banking industries adopt stricter credit card security tools, with the recent election of officers to the EMV Migration Forum Steering Committee. The four member committee oversees the efforts of more than 100 major American companies with the goal of adopting payment technology that has already become standard in other parts of the world.

In a statement to reporters, EMV Migration Forum spokesman Randy Vanderhoof acknowledged the challenges of implementing a solution that meets the needs of banks, businesses, and lawmakers. He characterized the Forum's members as "ready and willing to react strongly to challenges by discussing, strategizing about their issues, and offering constructive solutions."

Representatives from Walmart, ACI Worldwide, Vantiv and McDonald's earned election to the EMV Migration Forum Steering Committee. The group oversees the work of four focused Working Committees in the areas of communications and eduction, debit, U.S. coordination, and certification and testing. Each of the committees must help ensure that America's payments infrastructure can support EMV-based debit and credit cards by the end of 2013, in advance of stricter merchant requirements due in 2015.

EMV credit card adoption deadlines approaching

First developed jointly by Europay, MasterCard, and Visa in the 1990s, the EMV standard helped European merchants overcome the limitations of expensive phone lines and the threat of rising credit card fraud. The EMV standard comprises two versions of smart card technology:

  • the original, exposed data card now considered a standard in Europe, and
  • the revamped, contactless card embedded in standard debit and credit cards.

So far, only a handful of travel credit cards and prepaid debit cards include the embedded version of the EMV chip. All four of the major payment platforms allow issuers to choose which of the two versions of EMV credit cards to distribute. However, Visa and MasterCard officials recommend that banks issue so-called "dual interface cards" to ensure global acceptance. By 2015, most American merchants will assume fraud risks related to accepting magnetic stripe credit cards. The "liability shift" will impact all U.S. credit card merchants by the end of 2017.

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