PRINCETON JUNCTION, NJ -- The Smart Card Alliance has formed an independent, cross-industry organization to lay the groundwork for the U.S. to move from magnetic stripe technology to the more secure EMV technology now in widespread use in other countries.
The EMV Migration Forum will bring together representatives from financial card issuers, payments processors, merchants, acquirers, payment networks, industry suppliers and other constituent groups. It will provide guidance on technical issues and develop and distribute best practices to promote consumer awareness and adoption of EMV cards. It will also help coordinate the necessary changes to the payments infrastructure to support EMV.
The forum will be a part of the Smart Card Alliance, a nonprofit association focused on card technology, but will have a separate membership.
EMV is a technical specification, developed by Europay, MasterCard and Visa, that outlines the interaction between smart cards and terminals to ensure worldwide interoperability. EMV card technology has been adopted throughout the world largely due to its increased security. By replacing the traditional magnetic stripe still widely used in the U.S. with chip technology, EMV cards cut down on vulnerabilities that lead to card fraud including counterfeits and lost or stolen cards
EMV technology also enables global use of the card, supporting not only contact and contactless methods of payment but also mobile and remote payment methods.
Still, some payments stakeholders have been reluctant to make the costly infrastructure changes necessary to enable EMV cards in the U.S. But American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa have all committed to adopting EMV in the next few years, prompting processors and merchants to ready themselves for the move.
"By creating an organization that brings together all of the payments stakeholders who have a direct role in the EMV migration in the U.S., without regard to their past or present involvement with smart cards or other chip technologies, the EMV Migration Forum will be able to focus on the needed coordination and cooperation across the payments landscape," said Smart Card Alliance executive director Randy Vanderhoof.
The first meeting of the newly formed EMV Migration Forum will take place Sept. 12–13 at MasterCard Worldwide headquarters in Purchase, NY.