Minimum EMV Chip Card and Terminal Requirements – U.S.

Intended Audience

This document is intended for use by U.S. issuers, merchants, acquirers, processors and vendors who are planning deployments of their respective EMV chip programs in the U.S.

Introduction

Some U.S. payment networks are implementing EMV “liability shifts” effective October 2015.  As U.S. issuers, merchants, acquirers and processors plan for these liability shifts, many are asking: “What are the minimum requirements that we need to consider as we deploy chip for my organization?”

To help merchants, acquirers, processors and issuers develop their strategies for EMV implementation, several payment network participants in the EMV Migration Forum have collaborated to create a document presenting the minimum requirements for EMV chip implementation and deployment across each payment network. The primary goal of this document is to help stakeholders understand the minimum requirements of EMV chip implementation and deployment for those payment networks – Accel, American Express, Armed Forces Financial Network (AFFN), China UnionPay, Discover, Jeanie, MasterCard, NYCE, PULSE, SHAZAM, STAR and Visa –reflected in the document, so that stakeholders can work with their partners to develop a strategy to meet those requirements. While the document addresses minimum EMV chip requirements of the respective networks, decisions regarding deployment of chip technology will differ by stakeholder and involve a balancing of considerations, such as business needs and preferences, deployment timing, complexity and associated initial and future costs.

The document focuses on the minimum card and terminal EMV requirements for the U.S. payment networks Accel, American Express, Armed Forces Financial Network (AFFN), China UnionPay, Discover, Jeanie, MasterCard, NYCE, PULSE, SHAZAM, STAR and Visa in the context of the U.S. electronic payments marketplace and the October 2015 liability shifts. These participants have documented their respective minimum card and terminal configurations for EMV compliance. Some issuers and merchants, as they evaluate their business needs, may consider added functionalities that are beyond each network’s minimum requirements, such as offline PIN support and offline data authentication. All issuers and merchants should carefully evaluate their individual business requirements against the potential additional functionalities and their associated costs and complexities. In addition, merchants should evaluate these functionalities against the expected volume of issuers that may support them, and issuers should evaluate these functionalities against the expected volume of merchants that may support them.

Issuers and merchants that choose to deploy EMV solutions are encouraged to work directly with their card and terminal vendors, payment networks and processing partners to determine the approved EMVCo configurations offered that best satisfy their business needs. Approved EMVCo terminal configurations (e.g., chip reader and chip software) are a global industry requirement, including in the U.S.

How to Use the Minimum Requirements Matrix

The Minimum Requirements Matrix is an Excel document consisting of an introduction tab, five tabs for chip card and acceptance terminal requirements for each network, and one tab for a glossary:

  • Introduction
  • Cards – Credit
  • Cards – Debit U.S. Common AID
  • Cards – Debit Brand AID
  • Terminals – Point-of-Sale (POS)
  • Terminals – ATM
  • Glossary

 

Within each tab, the left vertical columns B and C list the available capabilities for cards or terminals within the EMV standard (called “attributes” in the matrix). The horizontal row 4 lists the U.S. participants in the matrix:  American Express, Armed Forces Financial Network (AFFN), China UnionPay, Discover, Jeanie, MasterCard, NYCE, PULSE, STAR and Visa.

For each participant, a checkmark signifies those attributes that are minimum requirements for that participant. If an attribute is left blank, it means that the attribute is optional for that participant, and not required. In some cases, participants have added comments regarding particular attributes that are optional or that the participant deems to require clarification.

Version 2, published in July 2016, updates the minimum requirements matrix for chip deployment, including changes to incorporate requirements for the recently announced faster EMV solutions from American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.

 

Legal Notice

This document provides an overview of each participating payment network minimum card and terminal requirements for chip deployment. The information is publicly available, and is provided to help stakeholders understand the minimum requirements of chip deployment for each payment network so they can work with their partners to determine their best strategy to meet requirements as the fraud liability shift approaches.

This document describes each participants’ minimum EMV requirements in the context of the U.S. marketplace. It should be noted, however, that specific requirements are determined independently by the respective networks, and are subject to change. Issuers and merchants are therefore strongly encouraged to evaluate these requirements against their own specific business needs, and to work directly with card and terminal vendors to determine the approved EMVCo configurations that satisfy the relevant minimum card and terminal requirements.  While great effort has been made to ensure that the information in this document and the Minimum Requirements Matrix is accurate and current, neither document should be relied on for any legal purpose, whether statutory, regulatory, contractual or otherwise and all warranties of any kind are disclaimed, including all warranties relating to or arising in connection with the use of or reliance on the information set forth in either document.  Any person that uses or otherwise relies in any manner on the information set forth in the documents does so at his or her sole risk.  

If a network is not included in the matrix, issuers and merchants should directly contact their respective networks and acquirers regarding minimum card and terminal requirements for regional debit networks.