EMV, the global chip card standard, is set to bring significant opportunities for reduced fraud and competitive differentiation through card product innovation in the US. But it is going to be a complex change. We look at what EMV means for the US.

The US payments market is renowned for innovation. It regularly leads the way in advancing customer propositions such as loyalty programs and contactless payments. So, you could be forgiven for wondering what additional commercial benefit the EMV chip is going to bring. We prefer to look at it the other way. If the US can deliver so much on a magstripe, imagine the possibilities with smart card applications. The chip sets the foundations for personalized card product variations, multi-application offerings, and brings card payments closer to the mobile. It should herald a new era for card product innovation led by US firms.

EMV, however, is not a straightforward transition. Globally, the transition to EMV has been a gradual learning process. More than 42% of cards and about 76% of PoS worldwide now support EMV. In the US, the change to EMV will be faster and won’t afford 
you the same time to prepare for change.

In moving to EMV, cardholders and merchants expect a smooth transition, fast, reliable and efficient service. EMV’s unprecedented configurability and control increases the diversity of interactions between cards, PoS terminals, acquiring hosts, payment scheme networks, and issuing hosts. That’s why EMV is so complex. There are so many more interactions to test for than in a magstripe environment. EMV certification typically covers only about 10% of these scenarios so the question is how do you test effectively to protect your brand from infield product failure?

We think that to make a smooth transition you need
 to emulate and test all of these variations to ensure optimal deployment and a successful migration. And you need to be able to validate ongoing compliance and new product releases in a business-as- usual setting. In our experience end-to-end testing is at the
 heart of any successful EMV migration project. Taking a strategic approach to the testing process will determine the success of your EMV deployment and can be leveraged as a core competitive advantage.

To find out more, read our EMV brief here.