In 2023, with EMV® Chip as the bedrock technology, EMVCo will continue advancing EMV Specifications to support seamless and secure transactions across in-person, e-commerce and remote channels. In this post, Arman Aygen, Director of Technology, shares insights on EMVCo’s key technical priorities for 2023.

Evolving EMV Chip

The EMV Chip Specifications provide a blueprint for chip technology to work consistently anywhere in the world to deliver the same result – secure, seamless and reliable in-store payments.

Following the publication of the EMV Contactless Kernel Specification in 2022, work is now progressing on a supporting testing programme. It is anticipated that test tools will be available for development and debugging in the first half of 2023, with the full testing suite to follow in 2024.

EMVCo also remains committed to evolving the EMV Chip Specifications to incorporate advanced security and technology features to help protect against future threats and support the next generation of payments. For example, the introduction of Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) in Version 4.4 of the EMV® Contact Chip Specification and the EMV® Contactless Kernel Specification was a strategic decision to enable EMV® Chip to keep pace with classical attacks without impacting performance.

Looking ahead, each passing year brings the payments industry closer to a truly post-quantum world. While the impact of quantum computing on current cryptography is constantly evolving, EMVCo continues to explore and evaluate potential risks. This includes collaboration with the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) to examine key issues relating to security and cryptography.

Supporting Changing Payments Preferences

An ongoing priority for EMVCo is supporting the delivery of secure, quick and convenient checkout experiences, no matter how consumers choose to pay.

The industry has already seen the widespread digitalisation of payment cards to enable consumers to pay with their smartphones, wearables and other mobile devices. The same trend for digitalisation is now apparent for payment acceptance technology, with smartphones and tablets increasingly used in place of traditional point-of-sale terminals. Following the conclusion of the TapToMobile Early Adopter Programme in 2022, EMVCo is now assessing the data gathered and exploring the definition of ‘Acceptance Criteria’ to ensure a good user experience.

EMVCo’s ongoing evaluation of the role wireless technologies can play in supporting in-store payment experiences also continues to progress, with the planned publication of a white paper exploring the data and security considerations across multiple use-cases.

EMVCo also recognises the need to acknowledge the challenge of supporting secure, seamless and unified payment experiences across multiple channels. As the significance of ‘omnichannel’ grows, EMVCo will continue to investigate opportunities to enhance the EMV Specifications in line with evolving expectations and industry feedback from our Advisors.

Promoting Seamless and Secure E-commerce Payments

EMV Specifications support a growing number of evolving technologies that are shaping the future of digital payments and e-commerce.

EMVCo plans to publish a white paper that provides payments stakeholders with examples to illustrate key EMV 3-D Secure (EMV 3DS) features and support implementation. Similarly, EMVCo is focused on evolving use cases for EMV Secure Remote Commerce (EMV SRC) and EMV Payment Tokenisation to demonstrate how these specifications are promoting payments innovation.

It is also crucial to recognise how changing browser privacy requirements are impacting the use of consumer data throughout the transaction process. EMVCo’s continued work with the FIDO Alliance and W3C through the Web Payments Security Interest Group is ensuring that the organisations’ respective technologies can continue to provide a seamless and secure online payment process, while promoting consumer privacy.

To find out more about EMVCo’s technical achievements in 2022 and key initiatives for 2023, download the EMVCo 2022 Annual Report.