EMVCo Advances Testing Programme to Enhance Global Interoperability for EMV® Contactless Payments

August 1, 2019

Testing activated against latest contactless specification, with EMVCo issuing its first Letter of Approval

EMVCo has advanced its testing programme to streamline the deployment and acceptance of contactless payment technologies worldwide. The work addresses emerging interoperability needs between EMV® acceptance devices and increasingly diverse contactless payment form factors, such as smartphones and wearables.

EMV® Level 1 Specifications for Payment Systems – EMV Contactless Interface Specification v3.0 was published in 2018, following significant industry input, to provide additional clarity and improved alignment across the contactless ecosystem. This was supported by test process enhancements for new form factors to mitigate the risk of interoperability issues before EMV contactless products are deployed in the field.

EMVCo has now qualified several test tools for contactless card readers, contactless smart cards and mobile devices against the enhanced specification. Various testing laboratories have also received accreditation, and the laboratory accreditation process will continue throughout 2019.

Following this progress, EMVCo activated testing against the updated specification for contactless card readers on 1 April and has issued its first v3.0 Letter of Approval for a contactless card reader product. Testing against v3.0 was also activated for cards and mobile devices on 1 July.

“Momentum is building for EMV contactless technology, so it is essential to promote simple and interoperable payments for all existing form factors,” comments Bruce Rutherford, Chair of the EMVCo Executive Committee. “EMVCo encourages card, terminal and device manufacturers to contact their respective accredited laboratory partners to progress towards testing against v3.0 and benefit from enhanced interoperability and performance.”

Testing against the previous version of the specification will be deactivated on 1 January 2020.

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