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Industry organizations work to simplify EMV transition

Payments Security Task Force, PCI Security Standards Council and the EMV Migration Forum have launched educational and prequalification tools for resellers and software vendors.

The Payments Security Task Force this past week joined with the PCI Security Standards Council and the EMV Migration Forum to launch a chip education curriculum and "prequalification" program to help streamline and simplify the EMV testing and certification process for value added resellers and independent software vendors, according to a press release.

Through this industrywide effort, VARs and ISVs will better understand how to integrate chip cards into small and mid-size merchants' checkout solutions in advance of the October 2015 liability shifts scheduled 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; and
  • 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 prequalification 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 what we have seen occur in other countries and requires greater cooperation and scale,” said Carolyn Balfany, senior vice president, MasterCard. "The industry, through a coordinated effort like this, is best positioned to help merchants and their partners accelerate the implementation of chip to deliver their customers a safer shopping experience."