Payments Industry Moves to Help Simplify Chip Card Acceptance

Payments Security Task Force, PCI Security Standards Council and the EMV Migration Forum Launch Educational and Pre-Qualification Process for Resellers and Software Vendors

New York – April 30, 2015 – The Payments Security Task Force today joined with the PCI Security Standards Council and the EMV Migration Forum to launch a chip education curriculum and “pre-qualification” program to help streamline and simplify the EMV testing and certification process for Value Added Resellers (VARs) and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs).

Through this industrywide effort, VARs and ISVs will better understand how to integrate chip cards into small and mid-sized merchants’ checkout solutions in advance of the October 2015 liability shifts scheduled to go into effect by major U.S. payment networks.

“One of the greatest challenges in the move to chip is helping the millions of small and mid-sized merchants understand and adopt the technology,” said Stephanie Ericksen, vice president of global risk products at Visa. “A streamlined process will help their payment technology suppliers better prepare and implement chip card acceptance, as the push to chip gains greater traction.”

The optional program consists of three central components:

  • An educational curriculum that provides a clear explanation of how to implement chip in the U.S. electronic payments marketplace
  • A list of service providers independently accredited by the major payment networks to provide chip consulting and expertise
  • A pre-qualification process run by the accredited service providers to help VARs and ISVs begin the implementation and testing process before they work with acquirers to achieve final certification

Major U.S. acquirers participated in the development of the program and will recognize the pre-qualification status. Many plan to provide fast track certification for VARs and ISVs that have demonstrated the execution of solid chip solutions.

“The migration to chip in the U.S. is different from the migration we have seen occur in other countries and requires greater cooperation and scale,” said Carolyn Balfany, senior vice president, MasterCard. “Through a coordinated effort like this, the U.S. electronic payments industry is best positioned to help merchants and their partners accelerate the implementation of chip in store to deliver their customers a safer shopping experience.”

“Successful EMV implementation in the U.S. requires cross-industry efforts to prepare for the migration and collaboration across key payments players. Similar cross-industry efforts will streamline EMV deployment and maximize resource effectiveness, driving a more secure consumer payments experience,” said Nicole Carroll, VP Global Products and Solutions, Discover.

According to an August 2014 Payments Security Task Force forecast, more than half of all U.S. credit and debit cards of issuers that were surveyed are expected to feature chip technology by the end of 2015. Merchants have the ability to prepare their checkout systems today to continue to deliver their customers an even more secure shopping experience.

How It Works

The coordinated effort will begin with the launch of educational resources for the VAR and ISV communities to establish an understanding of chip technology. Some of the subjects addressed through targeted webinars and self-service web portals include the basics of chip card technology, how to build a business case for chip, an overview of a chip card transaction and how to navigate the testing and certification process.

With that foundation, each VAR and ISV should have the ability to pre-qualify its payment solution for each of the major U.S. payment networks with an accredited service provider based on its knowledge of chip technology. The VAR would then work with its acquirer to receive a final certification of the solutions a merchant would need to process a chip card transaction.

The result will be a streamlined, go-to-market process for the thousands of solutions that will provide ongoing value over the next two to three years, as the U.S. migrates to chip.

To learn more about the educational efforts, visit:

To begin the pre-qualification process, visit:

About the Payments Security Task Force

The Payments Security Task Force was formed in early 2014 to drive executive-level discussion for the purpose of enhancing payments system security. The Task Force includes a diverse group of participants in the U.S. electronic payments industry, including payment networks, banks of various sizes, credit unions, acquirers, retailers, point-of-sale device manufacturers and industry trade groups.

Among the Task Force participants are American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Credit Union National Association, Discover, First Data, Global Payments Inc., Kroger, National Association of Federal Credit Unions, Marriott, MasterCard, Navy Federal Credit Union, Sheetz, Shell, Subway, US Bank, Vantiv, VeriFone, Visa Inc., Walgreens, and Wells Fargo & Company.

About the PCI Security Standards Council

The PCI Security Standards Council is an open global forum that is responsible for the development, management, education, and awareness of the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and other standards that increase payment data security. Founded in 2006 by the major payment card brands American Express, Discover, JCB International, MasterCard and Visa Inc., the Council has 700 Participating Organizations representing merchants, banks, processors and vendors worldwide. To learn more about playing a part in securing payment card data globally, please visit

Connect with the PCI Council on LinkedIn. Join the conversation on Twitter @PCISSC.

About the EMV Migration Forum

The EMV Migration Forum is a cross-industry body focused on supporting the EMV chip implementation steps required for payment networks, issuers, processors, merchants, and consumers to help ensure a successful introduction of more secure chip 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 chip technology in the United States. For more information on the EMV Migration Forum, please visit

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