U.S. Payments Industry Begins Alignment for Move to Chip-Based Payments at First EMV Migration Forum Meeting

Princeton Junction, N.J., December 19, 2012–The need for strong industry alignment in advance of the U.S. move to chip-based EMV payments was evident as payments stakeholders came together for the inaugural meeting of the EMV Migration Forum last week. The Forum is a new independent organization created by the Smart Card Alliance to support the coordination of the implementation steps required to successfully migrate from magnetic stripe technology to secure EMV contact and contactless technology in the United States.

The EMV Migration Forum meeting, held September 12-13 at the MasterCard Worldwide Headquarters in Purchase, NY, attracted 130 industry participants, including national payment brands, merchants, regional payment networks, issuers, acquirers/processors, technology providers, consultants and government agencies. Attendees learned about the mission and governance structure of the new organization, interacted in panels and discussion groups, helped defined the priorities for organization activities, and launched its first working committee projects.

“We were very pleased with the broad mix of industry partners that participated in what we viewed as a very productive dialogue on key areas critical to the migration to the next generation of payments,” said Carolyn Balfany, senior vice president, U.S. Customer Delivery, MasterCard. “The entire payments ecosystem was well represented–a wonderful thing to see considering the need for industry cooperation in the U.S. move to EMV.”

Some of the U.S. EMV migration topics Forum meeting attendees tackled during the two-day, at-capacity event included:

  • What are payment brands doing to prepare customers for EMV?
  • How will merchants get ready to accept EMV debit, credit and prepaid cards?
  • What do issuers need to consider before issuing EMV cards?
  • What challenges are debit networks facing when migrating to EMV?
  • How will payment processors and acquirers support merchants in the move to EMV?
  • How are technology providers adapting products and services to support EMV?

“The meeting atmosphere was extremely upbeat, with participants on the same page regarding the need for cooperation and collaboration to ensure a seamless and effective migration to EMV-enabled cards, devices, and terminals in the United States,” said Randy Vanderhoof, acting director of the EMV Migration Forum. “Attendees agreed that educating the industry, providing a consistent cardholder experience, following best practices from worldwide EMV implementations, and collaborating to determine approaches for unique aspects of the U.S. market are some of the most necessary steps for successful migration.”

Vanderhoof added, “With seventeen organizations already on board as members and 130 attendees participating this first meeting, the Forum’s next step is for supporters to get involved with the working committees to start addressing all the key migration considerations we identified at the meeting.”

Topics identified for Forum working committees to be launched soon include: communication and education; EMV debit implementation in the U.S.; certification and testing requirements; and cross-industry coordination topics.

The next EMV Migration Forum meeting is planned for later this fall; dates and location will be announced shortly. More information the EMV Migration Forum organization, membership, and working committee participation can be found at http://www.emv-connection.com/us-payments-forum/.

About U.S. EMV Migration

Commonly used globally in place of magnetic stripe , EMV chip technology drastically reduces card fraud resulting from counterfeit, lost and stolen cards; provides global interoperability; and enables safer and smarter transactions across cards, contactless, mobile, and remote payment channels. American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa have all announced their plans for moving to an EMV-based payments infrastructure in the U.S., with payment processor mandates in place for 2013, and major changes for managing fraud risk set for 2015.

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 move from magnetic stripe technology to 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. For more information on the EMV Migration Forum, please visit http://www.smartcardalliance.org/pages/activities-emv-migration-forum.


Deb Montner
Megan Shamas
Montner & Associates Tech PR Agency
[email protected]
[email protected]

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