This week, like most weeks, I have been looking at the US market and how the migration to EMV is progressing. Talking with various people at events and forums there’s a lot of positive noise about EMV migration progress by major processors and acquirers. The consensus at the coffee stand at least is that things are going well and many already accept EMV transactions today, or will be ready in time for the April Mandate.
However, when you scratch the surface, it appears there are still a number of acquirers and processors who are not so advanced in their migration to EMV. The main reason for this is that the payments scheme mandates only require that firms have the ability to accept EMV traffic. So for acquirers who don’t have an EMV terminal footprint it proves to be very difficult for them to generate EMV traffic into their frontend platforms to aid in the development and certification of these platforms.
Integrators and VARS are slow in developing EMV compliant terminals and relevant hardware for processors and acquirers to use. This is probably because the payment schemes liability shift rules are not enforced until 2015. The result of this is that acquirers and processors have even fewer options to generate EMV traffic for development and testing.
Even though we are only months away from the payments schemes mandated deadlines for Acquirers, I believe we will not see the true extent of this issue until May or June. At that point the payment schemes will start cracking down on acquirers who are not certified and capable of accepting EMV transactions.
To respond to this problem, we have been working with a number of payment firms and payments schemes to develop and provide them with a desktop PC based virtual terminal application. Our approach has been to provide support in our EMV Terminal Emulator for the “terminal-to-host” EMV specifications of each acquirer and processor. In some cases we have even written the terminal-to-host specification where a firm has not already completed this task for EMV.
This all means firms who do not have a terminal footprint and who cannot create EMV traffic can now quickly and efficiently achieve certification and comply with the mandate to accept EMV transactions. So no more need to source a kernel, hardware or complete application development.