EMVCo publishes specification for contactless and mobile payments

Friday 7 October 2022 13:29 CET | News

EMVCo has published a new specification to support the evolution of contactless and mobile payments and simplify global acceptance for merchants.

As contactless and mobile transactions increase around the world, the specification addresses industry demand for an EMV contactless kernel that can be used by all stakeholders globally for a secure contactless acceptance. A kernel is software that enables payment acceptance devices (such as point-of-sale terminals and ATMs) to process transactions. The EMV Contactless Kernel Specification supports the development of an EMV contactless kernel that uses existing terminal architecture, co-exists with legacy kernels for transition, and is licensable under the same royalty-free conditions as the EMV Contact Chip Specification.

EMVCo has engaged extensively with EMVCo stakeholders and the wider payments industry to understand marketplace needs and determine the best approach for an EMV Contactless Kernel Specification. This included a feasibility study, conducted by two independent consulting research firms, Special Interest Meetings with EMVCo Associates, and review and comment periods with EMVCo Associates, subscribers, and the public.

EMVCo publishes a new specification to support the evolution of contactless and mobile payments and simplify global acceptance for merchants.

The published specification reflects this input with requirements and features designed to support the evolution of contactless and mobile payments, including advanced security technologies to protect against future threats.

Key features

The key features include:

  • Secure Channel for privacy, eavesdropping prevention, and protection of sensitive data against ‘man-in-the-middle’ and mitigation of relay attacks.

  • Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) for card authentication.

  • Support for biometric and mobile card verification methods.

  • Optimised for cloud operation.

  • Optional on-card data storage with privacy and integrity protection.

EMVCo will also introduce approval testing for the EMV Contactless Kernel Specification through EMVCo accredited and audited laboratories and publish a list of all approved EMV contactless kernels on the EMVCo website.

The EMV Contactless Kernel Specification is available on the EMVCo website. Read the EMV Contactless Kernel FAQ to learn more about this initiative.Version 1 of the EMV Contactless Kernel Specification has been developed in collaboration with EMVCo Associates and approved for release by the EMVCo Board of Advisors.

EMV Specifications support technologies including EMV Chip Contact, EMV Chip Contactless, Mobile, QR Code, Secure Remote Commerce (SRC), 3-D Secure (3DS), and Payment Tokenisation and are widely used by the payments industry to develop products and services that deliver trusted and convenient in-store, online and remote card-based payments.

The evolution of contactless payments

Although contactless payments became much more popular because of the pandemic, they’re not going away even as many regions return to more in-person activities. In fact, contactless payment methods are more popular than ever, driven by health precautions, security concerns, and the convenience that a well-designed contactless payment experience provides.

In fact, 92% of merchants surveyed globally report they already accept or plan to accept contactless payments within the next 12 months. Of those surveyed, 85% stated that acceptance of contactless payments has improved customer satisfaction, with 78% saying acceptance of contactless payments has decreased average transaction times. Not only do contactless payments improve the shopping experience through increased efficiency, but 45% of respondents to a global consumer survey said they prefer contactless payments to cash.1 Moreover, 82% of merchants surveyed globally reported contactless payments, including tap and pay, are one of their most popular payment types and were an essential part of their response to the pandemic.

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Keywords: contactless payments, mobile payments, merchant, transactions , EMV
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: EMVCo
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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