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SAN FRANCISCO -- Visa Inc. is going "full steam ahead" in the migration to EMV contact and contactless chip technology in the United States. The adoption of this dual-interface chip technology is intended to help prepare the U.S. payment infrastructure for the arrival of NFC-based mobile payments.
Once the plan is fully implemented, merchants will be able to accept and process chip transactions that support either a signature or personal identification number (PIN) at the point-of-sale, Visa said.
"By encouraging investments in EMV contact and contactless chip technology, we will speed up the adoption of mobile payments as well as improve international interoperability and security," said Jim McCarthy, Visa's global head of product. "As NFC mobile payments and other chip-based emerging technologies are poised to take off in coming years, we are taking steps today to create a commercial framework that will support growth opportunities and create value for all participants in the payment chain."
Once the infrastructure is built to allow for new payment technologies, consumers need to know the transaction will be safe. According to Visa, dynamic authentication helps tackle that problem. The chip technology "greatly reduces a criminal's ability to use stolen payment card data by introducing dynamic values for each transmission," the company stated. "Even if payment card data is compromised, a counterfeit card would be unusable at the point-of-sale without the presence of the card's unique elements."
Ellen Richey, Visa's chief enterprise risk officer, added: "Dynamic authentication is the key to securing payments into the future. Adding dynamic elements to transactions makes account data less attractive to steal and takes more merchant systems out of harm's way."