Cardholder Verification Methods: Concepts, Implementations, and Impacts

In the context of an EMV chip transaction, the Cardholder Verification Method, or CVM, is used to evaluate whether the person presenting a payment instrument, such as a payment card, is the legitimate cardholder.  An understanding of CVMs is critical to all stakeholders in the payments ecosystem.

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Issuers need to understand CVMs so they can decide which CVMs to support in their chip cards, and in what priority order, based on their business needs. Merchants need to ensure that their terminals can support the minimum CVM requirements for the major payment networks. Merchants also need to ensure that their staff can assist customers at the point of sale.  Acquirers, processors, and value added resellers need to ensure that their terminals support the minimum CVM requirements for the major payment networks.

This video presentation reviews EMV CVM concepts, implementation and impact on issuers, ATM owners, merchants, and cardholders.

The presentation covers the following topics:

  • Basic CVM concepts, including the types of CVMs that can be supported by EMV chip cards and terminals
  • Issuer implementation considerations, minimum requirements and business decisions for CVM support on credit and debit cards
  • Terminal implementation considerations, minimum requirements and card/POS interaction for CVM selection
  • Cardholder experience considerations
  • Additional resources and references

The video presentation, “Cardholder Verification Methods: Concepts, Implementations, and Impacts,” was developed by the EMV Migration Forum’s Communication and Education Working Committee and led by Deborah Spidle, Paragon Application Systems, and Deana Cook, Chase Paymentech.

Please note: The information and materials available on this web page (“Information”) is provided solely for convenience and does not constitute legal or technical advice. All representations or warranties, express or implied, are expressly disclaimed, including without limitation, implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose and all warranties regarding accuracy, completeness, adequacy, results, title and non-infringement. All Information is limited to the scenarios, stakeholders and other matters specified, and should be considered in light of applicable laws, regulations, industry rules and requirements, facts, circumstances and other relevant factors. Use of or reliance on the Information is at the user’s sole risk, and users are strongly encouraged to consult with their respective payment networks, acquirers, processors, vendors and appropriately qualified technical and legal experts prior to all implementation decisions.

Please note that, on November 2, 2016, staff of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”) released a FAQ relating to Section 235.7(b) of Federal Reserve Regulation II (promulgated by the Board pursuant to the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act), noting that although the FAQ is not an official Board interpretation, “[a] payment card network inhibits a merchant’s ability to route electronic debit card transactions if it, by network rules, standards, specifications, contractual agreements, or otherwise, requires the merchant to allow the cardholder to make the choice of EMV chip application on a debit card, where one application routes only to a single network.” None of the Information should be interpreted or construed to require or promote the establishment of any solution, practice, configuration, rule, requirement or specification inconsistent with applicable legal requirements, including Federal Reserve Regulation II, any of which may change over time. The U.S. Payments Forum assumes no responsibility to support, maintain or update the Information, regardless of any such change.