Visa to accelerate chip migration and mobile payment adoption

San Francisco -- Visa announced Tuesday that it plans to accelerate the migration to EMV contact and contactless chip technology in the United States.

The adoption of dual-interface chip technology will help prepare the U.S. payment infrastructure for the arrival of NFC-based mobile payments by building the necessary infrastructure to accept and process chip transactions that support either a signature or PIN at the point of sale.

"By encouraging investments in EMV contact and contactless chip technology, we will speed up the adoption of mobile payments as well as improve international interoperability and security," said Jim McCarthy, global head of product, Visa Inc. "As NFC mobile payments and other chip-based emerging technologies are poised to take off in the coming years, we are taking steps today to create a commercial framework that will support growth opportunities and create value for all participants in the payment chain."

According to Visa, chip technology will accelerate mobile innovations, as well as secure payments into the future through the use of dynamic authentication. Chip technology greatly reduces a criminal's ability to use stolen payment card data by introducing dynamic values for each transaction. Even if payment card data is compromised, a counterfeit card would be unusable at the point of sale without the presence of the card's unique elements.

With regard to its specific plans, Visa said that, effective October 1, 2012, it will expand its Technology Innovation Program to the United States, eliminating the requirement for eligible merchants to annually validate their compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard for any year in which at least 75% of the merchant's Visa transactions originate from chip-enabled terminals.

As well, Visa will require U.S. acquirer processors and sub-processor service providers to be able to support merchant acceptance of chip transactions no later than April 1, 2013.

And Visa said it intends to institute a U.S. liability shift for domestic and cross-border counterfeit card-present point-of-sale transactions, effective October 1, 2015.

Fuel-selling merchants will have an additional two years before a liability shift takes effect for transactions generated from automated fuel dispensers.