EMV Testing and Certification White Paper: Current U.S. Payment Brand Requirements for the Acquiring Community

Publication Date:  July 2013

All payment brands have acquirer host and EMV chip terminal testing processes to maintain and ensure the integrity of the payment brand infrastructure and a frictionless cardholder acceptance experience.  The American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa testing requirements are global and are therefore relevant to the U.S. market also in order to reduce any potential interoperability issues in production.  These processes follow the EMV specification and each payment brand’s application specification, with an objective of ensuring interoperability between all host systems, payment devices, and cardholder devices.

By benefitting from global knowledge and experience, the payment brands have developed, and continually strive to improve, the testing process while maintaining the balance of when to test in order minimize any risk of deployment issues into production. This white paper was developed by the EMV Migration Forum Testing and Certification Working Committee.  It defines the current processes required to test EMV chip transactions with MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover (referred to collectively as the payment brands).   Brand-specific issues, concerns, or questions related to these processes should be directed to the appropriate payment brand.  This document is intended to provide a clear approach to acquirer host and EMV chip terminal testing and certification, and includes examples of common use cases.

Comments on or recommendations for edits or additions to this document should be submitted to [email protected].

It is important to note that the processes described in this document cover the current acquirer testing requirements for the payment brands referenced above.  These testing processes also support direct connect merchants which are directly connected to the payment brands.  Merchants not directly connected to the payment brands should work with their acquirer on testing requirements and are out of scope for this document.  The white paper does not describe testing for U.S. regional debit payment brands.   The EMV Migration Forum plans to provide updates and additional educational resources as other requirements and streamlined testing and certification processes are documented.  There will be a separate document providing the payment brand issuer testing requirements.

About the EMV Migration Forum

The EMV Migration Forum is a cross-industry body focused on supporting an alignment of the EMV implementation steps required for global and regional payment networks, issuers, processors, merchants, and consumers to ensure a successful introduction of more secure EMV contact and contactless technology in the United States. The focus of the Forum is to address topics that require some level of industry cooperation and/or coordination to migrate successfully to EMV technology in the United States.