U.S. EMV Migration Taking Shape, Says TAS partner, Smartcard Alliance Steering Committee Member and SCIL-EMV Academy’s Mansour Karimzedah.
The real work of migrating the USA to EMV started 18 months ago with the announcement of Visa stating a series of liability shift dates for the payment eco-system stakeholders.
Momentum gathered more pace with MasterCard, American Express and Discover making similar announcements on the following months. This prompted a scramble by all concerned parties for information about what they needed to do and where to go to get more information.
Although everyone started with great enthusiasm to look at how to migrate to EMV, one of the issues that became the stumbling block was the Debit network usage and the new financial regulation known as the Durbin amendment. Although most other countries generally have one debit network, the USA has 18 regional debit networks. And the Durbin amendment that requires each acquirer to be able to route transactions via at least two competing networks, make it much more difficult task.
There have been two committees set up to study and come up with a solution for debit networking. One is the debit Committee of EMF. The other is SRPC – Secure Remote Payment Council, owned by 8 of the regional debit networks. They have now decided to use a specific EMV Debit application that allows these member networks to process debit transactions and be in compliance with the Durbin amendment. There is some work in progress that allows the selection of an application on the chip in certain cases. The debit issues are expected to be resolved within the next few months.