U.S. EMV Migration Forum Sketching Plans for One-City EMV Pilot (Feb. 26, 2013)
Feb. 26, 2013
Payments industry experts eyeing the October 2015 target date for the U.S. migration to EMV card technology are contemplating plans to set up an EMV pilot in a single U.S. city to boost EMV planning and to work out the bugs in chip-card deployment. The concept, hatched by a committee within the U.S. EMV Migration Forum, Smart Card Alliance chapter formed last year, grew out of lessons learned from other global markets that successfully completed the switch to EMV, according to Mark Rennie Davis, co-chair of the U.S. EMV Coordination Working Committee and a principal with MasterCard Advisors.
Creating a quasi-laboratory to test EMV technology across issuer, acquirer and merchant platforms with consumer participation would give U.S. payments players a chance to identify potential problems and it could also “kick-start” U.S. EMV development, Davis told attendees at the Smart Card Association’s Payments Summit at Salt Lake City earlier this month.
More than half of payments industry executives expressed interest in supporting such a test, suggest the initial results of an EMV Migration Forum survey, Davis said. (Final survey results are due next month.) If approved, such an EMV pilot would be designed to increase confidence in interoperability and to ensure the infrastructure works as expected; to create specific guidelines for implementing EMV and to fine-tune the EMV communication and education process for the industry and consumers, Davis explained.
The forum is weighing the criteria for a possible test city, and so far the goal is to identify an urban area “not too big or small, maybe 100,000 to 300,000 in population,” Davis said. Other features would include a measurable proportion of international cards typically processed in the market, and accessibility for all prospective business partners, he says. Taking a “phased approach,” the test city would begin with checking the capabilities of various issuers and acquirers that are planning to process EMV transactions beginning in late 2013, and would then begin testing EMV capabilities of merchants in 2014, Davis suggested. The Migration Forum is gathering further industry information before inking final plans, he said.