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U.S. Payments Forum: Merchant EMV Chip Enablement on the Upswing

The U.S. Payments Forum today released its fall 2017 market snapshot, providing new statistics on merchant EMV chip enablement, updates on upcoming milestones for merchants and issuers, and priorities around contactless and online security payment specifications going forward.

State of the Market: Top 200 Merchant, SMB Chip Enablement Grows

At the September 2017 U.S. Payments Forum member meeting, the global payment networks reported that 55 percent of spend is now on chip cards and 96 percent of the top 200 merchants are now accepting chip payments. ATM enablement is growing rapidly, with the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) estimating that 80 percent of ATMs will be chip-enabled by the end of 2017.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have also seen an impressive jump in enablement, according to U.S. Payments Forum director Randy Vanderhoof.

“We’re hearing reports that between 70 and 80 percent of SMBs are now chip-enabled, which is a significant leap from where we were a year ago," said Vanderhoof. "This shows us that merchants are being proactive, certifications have become more streamlined and those certified systems are getting into the market more quickly.”

Additional details from the latest meeting can be found on the U.S. Payments Forum website at

Trending Topics: Liability Shift Policy Changes Ending for Merchants, Issuers First Reissuance Cycle

The U.S. Payments Forum notes two significant upcoming milestones for merchants and issuers, respectively. Merchants should be aware that chargeback limit policies from Visa and American Express expire in April 2018. These policy changes gave merchants that needed extra time to become chip-enabled relief from chargebacks under $25. To help the market prepare, the U.S. Payments Forum is providing additional implementation guidance to VARs, ISOs and other payment solutions providers that cater to segments of the merchant population that are not yet chip-enabled through workshops and other educational material.

Many card issuers are coming close to their first chip card reissuance cycle and should be aware of the considerations and changes in the environment since their first issuance cycle, including product choices (cards and services), product lifecycle management, dual-interface cards, certification, instant issuance impact and Faster EMV. The U.S. Payments Forum will be working through these considerations at upcoming meetings and urges card issuers to attend.

U.S. Payments Forum Priorities: Looking Forward to Mobile and Contactless and 3D Secure 2.0

Looking forward, the U.S. Payments Forum is prioritizing mobile and contactless payment implementation guidance for issuers and merchants.

“There are many indications that the U.S. market is getting primed for contactless payments,” said Vanderhoof. “Certified solutions for merchants are coming into the market and more card issuers are requesting dual-interface cards. Yet it’s important to note that contactless transactions still make up a small proportion of overall chip-on-chip transactions. For those merchants and issuers that see contactless in their future, we will provide the certification and implementation facts and guidance that they need for success.”

The Forum also plans to focus attention on implementation of new specifications including 3D Secure 2.0 and other solutions for secure online payments.

“New payment security specifications like 3D Secure 2.0 are being published; many are eager to deploy, but have questions around how the implementation will work in the U.S. payments market. By having the unique membership mix that includes all payments stakeholders in the Forum, we will be able to provide that detailed, technical implementation guidance for 3DS 2.0 and other upcoming payments specifications,” said Vanderhoof.

Resource Recap

Over the last quarter, the U.S. Payments Forum published the following resources on contactless open payments for transit, U.S. EMV migration, and mobile and contactless payments. These resources include:

  • Technical Solution for Transit Contactless Open Payments Use Case 1: Pay As You Go/Card” white paper. The U.S. Payments Forum recently published this white paper, which addresses pay-as-you-go/single-ride fares scenarios using EMV contactless cards, and the technological framework needed to make contactless open payments in this scenario a reality.
  • Petroleum Industry: EMV FAQ.” This FAQ was created to provide a common, consistent understanding of EMV issues in the U.S. retail petroleum industry.
  • Accepting EMV Chip Payments at the Fuel Pump webinar. This webinar provided small petroleum and convenience store merchants with an overview of EMV and detailed information on how to implement chip technology at the pump efficiently and effectively.
  • Mobile and Contactless Payments Glossary.” This glossary, created by the Forum’s Mobile and Contactless Working Committee, defines mobile and contactless payments terms to encourage cross-industry standardization of terminology.
  • Implementing EMV in the U.S.: How the U.S. Common Debit AIDs Facilitate Debit Transaction Routing and Ensure Durbin Compliance video recording. This recording was updated by the Forum’s Communications and Education Working Committee to add information on Cardholder Verification Method (CVM) selection.
  • EMV Contactless Testing & Certification Workshop for VARs, ISVs and ISOs workshop. The Testing and Certification Working Committee held its second workshop to review requirements for EMV contactless testing and certification in the U.S.
  • [Members Only] “Troubleshooting Data Quality Issues” white paper. This members-only resource provides a guide for troubleshooting common EMV data quality issues that have been seen by the networks, acquirers, merchants and issuers.
  • [Members Only] “?The 101 on Transit Contactless Open Payments” presentation. This members-only resource provides a baseline understanding of how EMV contactless open loop payments may work in the U.S. and Canadian transit environment from a technological perspective.

To read the summer 2017 market snapshot, visit

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