In response to feedback from its Associates, EMVCo has launched a new Wireless Task Force. In this Q&A post, Task Force Chair Jonathan Main provides insight into the group’s objectives, the role it could play in shaping future EMV® Specifications, and opportunities for payments industry stakeholders to contribute their expertise.

Why has EMVCo developed a Wireless Task Force?

Jonathan Main: EMVCo has initiated the Wireless Task Force to evaluate if and how EMV Specifications should address the use of wireless technologies for face-to-face payments, which is not currently covered by EMV Specifications.

The task force is specifically designed to address feedback from EMVCo Associates requesting that EMVCo consider this area as a priority for future EMV Specifications. Associates represent members of the payments industry and users of EMV Specifications, including technology companies, financial institutions, and merchants.

How does EMVCo define wireless technology in this context?

Jonathan Main: Essentially, wireless technology refers to wireless protocols typically with a range greater than a few metres. Examples include Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi direct, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and mobile data. It is important to note that contactless technology, including Near Field Communication (NFC), is already covered by EMV Specifications, and as such it is not considered as part of this work.

Using wireless technology, payments can be made without the payment device (e.g. a smartphone) being in immediate proximity to the payment terminal. This increased interaction distance means that the payment device does not need to be waved or tapped on the payment terminal to conduct the transaction, which can enable a more flexible and convenient payment experience for both merchants and consumers.

What is the goal of the Wireless Task Force?

Jonathan Main: We aim to identify how wireless technology may enhance the payment experience to determine if and how this should be addressed by EMV Specifications. To achieve this, the group will focus on identifying a set of key business payment-related use cases for wireless technology. The output of this effort will inform the development of any future EMV Specifications in this area.

What role do payments stakeholders play in this effort?

Jonathan Main: This initiative is a great example of how members of the payments industry help shape EMVCo’s work. Not only has the task force been developed in response to feedback from payments stakeholders, but they also have the opportunity to contribute to its efforts via the EMVCo Associates Programme.

To help steer the development of any EMV Specifications in this area, the task force will work with EMVCo Associates to identify use cases that can provide the most value to end-users of wireless payment products. This will enable EMVCo to develop technical specifications that are designed accordingly and can be used to advance products that meet payments industry needs.

EMVCo has asked its Associates to help define a set of wireless payment-related use cases that describe the payer and merchant experiences, the role of any other entities involved in the payment process, and the business value these provide.

This is an exciting opportunity for the Associates community to partner with EMVCo in the early stages of work to help shape future EMV Specifications related to wireless payments.

What is the timeline for this effort?

Jonathan Main: EMVCo held a Business Special Interest Meeting (SIM) with the Associates in July 2020 to review an initial set of use cases. Through ongoing dialogue with this group, EMVCo will consolidate their input to create a more complete set of business use cases. As work progresses, EMVCo will keep Associates and Subscribers informed of new developments.

Task forces are expertise-driven technical groups led by EMVCo members that play a key role in carrying out EMVCo’s work. As part of this effort, these groups engage with EMVCo Associates and Subscribers to capture and reflect industry needs and requirements. Click here to learn more about the EMVCo Associates Programme and opportunities to help enhance and evolve the EMV Specifications.

Learn More About the EMVCo Associates Programme

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