Based on the globally adopted EMV® Chip Specifications, secure chips are used in billions of payment cards to validate their authenticity and safeguard against card fraud. In this EMV Insights post, Jonathan Main, Chair of the EMVCo Board of Managers, explains the foundational role of EMV Chip technology in making seamless and secure contact and contactless payments with cards and mobile devices possible anywhere in the world.

Overview of EMV Chip

EMV Chip[1] is a set of open, global technology specifications that makes seamless and secure contact and contactless payments with cards and mobile devices possible anywhere in the world.

Chip technology validates the authenticity of a card and generates a one-time use security code for every transaction, which helps prevent counterfeit, lost and stolen fraud. 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. [2]

Based on the globally adopted EMV Chip Specifications, secure chips are used in nearly 12 billion credit and debit cards today as part of a layered security approach to combat fraud. Over 90% of all card-present transactions are EMV Chip-based. [3]

What the EMV Chip Specifications Cover

An EMV Chip transaction requires communication between the chip in the card, smartphone, or other device making the payment and the acceptance terminal.

EMV Chip Specifications define the requirements for the chip to communicate with the acceptance terminal and exchange information to execute a transaction. There are two possible means by which this exchange may be made – contact or contactless.

Though initially developed for payment cards, EMV Chip is not limited to this use. It also supports payments made with mobile devices (such as smartphones, watches, wristbands, etc.) that use Near Field Communications (NFC) technology to act as contactless chip cards.

EMV Payment Tokenisation offers enhanced security for chip payments made with mobile devices, such as mobile wallets, by replacing valuable card data in a transaction with a payment token, which is worthless if stolen.

Future of EMV Chip

The EMV Chip Specifications were first created to address the need for chip cards and terminals to work effectively everywhere. Today, EMV Chip is the bedrock technology for a portfolio of EMV Specifications enabling seamless and secure transactions across contact, contactless and mobile channels.

EMVCo continues to evolve the EMV Chip Specifications in collaboration with merchants, issuers, acquirers, payment networks, financial institutions, manufacturers, technology providers and testing laboratories across the globe.

As consumers move away from cash and increasingly towards digital payments, we can expect EMV chip technology to continue to be a critical enabler for secure, reliable card-based payments around the world.

[1] Although “EMV”, “EMV Chip”, “Chip and PIN”, are all terms used to describe this type of technology, EMV® is a trademark term dating back to the 1990s, and it refers to the specifications administered by EMVCo.

[2] Card-based payments made in-person at a retail outlet, transit gate or other physical environment.

[3] Worldwide EMV® Deployment Statistics

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