Contact EMV®

Contact EMV refers to the EMV contact chip specifications defining how financial transactions are conducted using contact chip cards. These cards support cryptographic functions to prevent counterfeiting of cards and additional functions that make them more secure than traditional magnetic-stripe cards.

Approved Products

EMVCo tests and approves various industry products to indicate their compliance with the Contact EMV specifications.

Service Providers

EMVCo certifies Service Providers, such as Laboratories and Testing Tools, that play a role in testing and approving Contact EMV products.


Q: What is the relationship between the EMV Chip Specifications and ISO/IEC 7816 standards? What differences are there, and why do they exist?

A: The EMV Chip Specifications are based on, and are a subset of, the requirements in the ISO/IEC 7816 series of standards. However, ISO/IEC 7816 is a series of standards rather than an implementation oriented specification such as EMV, and a terminal supporting all of its requirements would be quite complex. The EMV Chip Specifications should be read in conjunction with the ISO/IEC 7816 standards. However, if any of the provisions or definitions in the EMV Specifications differ from the ISO/IEC standards, the EMV Specifications shall take precedence. More specifically, ISO/IEC 7816-3 specifies the card/terminal interface, whereas EMV specifies the card and terminal requirements separately - this makes a direct comparison of the two documents difficult and not always meaningful. From a terminal manufacturer's point of view, a comparison of the requirements in EMV Book 1 with the ISO/IEC 7816-3 standard should reveal the differences that need to be taken into account. EMVCo does not have such a comparison available. With regards to ISO/IEC 7816-4, which specifies the organization, security and commands for interchange, the EMV Specifications use some of the commands specified, but not all options are necessarily supported. In addition to the ISO/IEC 7816-4 defined commands, EMV has also defined additional commands that must be supported by cards and terminals.

Q: What is the purpose of the EMV Specifications?

A: The purpose of the EMV Specifications are to facilitate the worldwide interoperability and acceptance of secure payment transactions. The EMV Chip Specification describes mandatory and optional terminal behaviour and the interface between the terminal and card. Card functionality beyond this card to terminal interface is not described. Supplemental specifications from the Payment Systems (or from EMVCo for Common Payment Application cards) provide requirements for internal card processing of the transaction. These card specifications and additional vendor requirements are required along with the EMV Chip Specification to build a complete card. Additional terminal specifications are also needed for a complete terminal design to cover areas that are unrelated to the card-terminal interface such as the terminal to host interface.

Q: How do the EMV specifications fit in with other international standards?

A: The EMV Specifications are based on various standards (such as ISO 7816, ISO 14443, and ISO 8583) and define the physical, electrical, data and application levels for financial payment transactions. Through payment systems representatives, EMVCo promotes and complements the ongoing standardisation efforts by vigorously contributing to the ISO standards drafting process in order to ensure continued compatibility between the ISO standards and the EMV Specifications. On this website, EMVCo makes available to the public many online resources such as final and published versions of EMV Specifications, bulletins and application notes, type approval-process documents, and approval lists. Through payment systems representatives, EMVCo promotes and endeavours to harmonise the standardisation work by actively contributing to the ISO standards drafting process in order to ensure ongoing compatibility between the ISO standards and the EMV specifications.

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Draft Specifications and Bulletins are shared with EMVCo Associates and Subscribers, who provide feedback and submit Queries. They are also eligible to attend relevant meetings to discuss the Specifications.

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