US Payments Forum Provides Guidance on Optimizing Speed of EMV Transactions

Princeton Junction, N.J., October 6, 2016 – Many cardholders and merchants have highlighted EMV transaction speeds as an area for improvement as the U.S. continues its migration to EMV chip technology. To provide guidance for issuers and merchants on speeding up EMV transaction times, the U.S. Payments Forum[i] has released a new white paper that provides details on three approaches: “faster EMV” solutions, contactless/Near Field Communication (NFC) transactions, and EMV checkout optimization.

The white paper, “Optimizing Transaction Speed at the POS,” can be downloaded at

“The first phase of the chip migration was focused primarily on getting up and running with chip card acceptance to reduce in-store fraud. Now, merchants can consider additional steps to optimize chip transaction speeds to provide a better consumer payment experience and better throughput for merchants,” said Randy Vanderhoof, director of the U.S. Payments Forum. “This white paper is a primer for different optional techniques that may be used to speed the chip transaction process at the point of sale (POS), and provides a starting point for stakeholders interested in pursuing one or more of the approaches.”

The white paper includes three general solutions for stakeholders to consider to improve transaction times at the POS. These approaches are based on best practices from chip migrations in many other large countries, best practices from the U.S. migration, and a new capability to improve the point-of-sale experience in response to this issue in the U.S. For each category, a detailed description and analysis are presented, including considerations and implications for various stakeholder groups:

  • Faster EMV Solutions. The white paper uses “faster EMV” as an umbrella term to describe the optimized online-only EMV transaction processing solutions announced separately by American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. These solutions retain the security features of EMV, while removing dependencies which can negatively impact the cardholder perception of transaction time.
  • Contactless/NFC Transactions. Enabling EMV POS terminals to allow contactless/NFC mobile transactions in the U.S. can greatly improve the cardholder experience. Cardholders benefit from being able to tap and quickly put away the contactless-enabled payment device. Merchants and cardholders benefit from both perceived and actual reduced transaction time compared to contact methods.
  • EMV Checkout Optimization. There are various techniques that merchants and issuers can implement to help optimize the chip checkout experience, arising from both new learnings in implementing EMV and from traditional approaches to optimizing checkout throughput.

This white paper is part of the U.S. Payments Forum’s ongoing effort to identify issues and provide guidance and best practices to overcome them to keep moving the U.S. chip migration forward. Other resources created by the Forum relating to EMV chip technology in the U.S. can be found at

About the U.S. Payments Forum

The U.S. Payments Forum, formerly the EMV Migration Forum, is a cross-industry body focused on supporting the introduction and implementation of new and emerging technologies that protect the security of, and enhance opportunities for payment transactions within the U.S. The Forum is the only non-profit organization whose membership includes the whole payments ecosystem, ensuring that all stakeholders have the opportunity to coordinate, cooperate on, and have a voice in the future of the U.S. payments industry.


Megan Shamas
Montner Tech PR
[email protected]


[i] Formerly the EMV Migration Forum

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