News from the 2013 Smart Card Alliance Payments Summit: MasterCard, Visa Clarify Roadmaps for U.S. Move to Chip-Based EMV Payments, Isis Mobile Wallet Use in Transit Takes Off in Salt Lake City
2013 Smart Card Alliance Payments Summit, Salt Lake City, Utah, February 6, 2013–As the U.S. move to secure chip-based EMV payments continues to progress, executives from MasterCard and Visa addressed the payments industry, clarified their roadmaps, and provided vision for the future payments infrastructure yesterday at the 2013 Smart Card Alliance Payments Summit. Attendees also were updated on pilots for Isis mobile wallets, and their launch throughout transit in Salt Lake City.
The U.S. Path to Chip-based EMV Payments
Stephanie Ericksen, head of authentication product integration for Visa, addressed the audience of more than 600 attendees about new details that expand Visa’s roadmap to EMV.
Ericksen announced Visa’s proposed solution to the Durbin Amendment’s requirement that card issuers enable at least two unaffiliated network routing options on their cards. This requirement allows merchants to choose their preferred debit network. Ericksen said that Visa will make some of its EMV chip technology available free of charge in conjunction with a “generic, unbranded Application Identifier (AID),” the number that identifies the payment system and the card type. With such a common AID, payment processors can route transactions to merchants’ preferred networks.
Visa will also expand its roadmap, according to Ericksen, to include an October 1, 2017 deadline for the liability shift for counterfeit card fraud for ATMs. This date is a year later than the deadline MasterCard has imposed for ATMs.
MasterCard’s Michael Weitzman, group executive, global products and solutions for U.S. markets, explained how EMV will impact the future of payments, saying he “couldn’t think of a more exciting time to be in the payments industry.” He noted that by 2015, there will be “twice the number of globally connected devices than there are people,” presenting an opportunity for payments innovations that should not be missed. He urged payment card issuers to issue cards with dual contact/contactless capabilities, and for merchants to implement terminals to accept both technologies. Regarding the options for online vs. offline transactions in the new EMV ecosystem, MasterCard supports both. According to Weitzman, “online is better, but doesn’t work in every case.”
A panel consisting of merchant acquirers, issuers, and brands also offered their unique perspectives yesterday on the move to EMV. Patty Walters of large merchant acquirer Vantiv noted the unique challenges in the U.S. due to the sheer size of the market, as well as regulatory requirements. She said she has seen significant advancement in her industry to meet the looming April 2013 mandate, when all acquirer processors are required to support merchant acceptance of chip transactions. Concerning her organization, Walters said she is “confident we will get there.”
From an issuer perspective, Whitney Stewart of SunTrust Banks said that customer experience is going to be a major priority with EMV, and that customer service education as well as consumer education is going to be “a big piece of the pie.” All of the panelists agreed that a common language and communication strategy is necessary, and pointed to the EMV Migration Forum’s Communications and Education Working Committee as a valuable collaboration to meet this goal.
Isis NFC Mobile Wallet Pilots
Attendees were updated on the Isis mobile wallet pilots happening now in Salt Lake City and Austin. The Isis wallet is an NFC-based, PIN-protected virtual wallet that allows consumers to carry payment cards, loyalty cards, and offers in their mobile device.
Jim Stapleton, chief sales officer for Isis, said the pilots are still in “early days” but initial results are positive, with active users paying with Isis five or more times per week. Stapleton said that consumers who take advantage of offers from merchants will shop twice as often at that merchant. He described several local merchants using the wallet to engage the customer and take the “relationship beyond that moment of payment,” and pointed to the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) as the best use case of Isis in Salt Lake City.
UTA Open Payments Go Mobile
The UTA has fully implemented open contactless fare payments, which allow travelers to pay for transit directly with the American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa contactless card already in their wallet. Now, the UTA transit system is set to accept Isis mobile NFC payments, too. According to Jerry Benson of the UTA, these new ways to pay are about customer convenience–allowing everyone to “always have the exact fare”–but also extremely helpful to the UTA to gather data to better serve their customers. Mobile, according to Benson, is a “great new way to get a payment device in everybody’s hands.” Since the launch of mobile payments acceptance, the UTA has seen revenues increase by 25 percent, and contactless transactions increase from 400 to 1000 per day, and still growing. The long term strategy, said Benson, is to move people away from cash and to electronic media payments.
The Summit is being held through Thursday at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more news from the 2013 Payments Summit, follow the Smart Card Alliance on Twitter @SmartCardOrgUSA hashtag #PaymentsSummit, Facebook at Smart Card Alliance, and LinkedIn at Smart.Payments.
About the Smart Card Alliance
The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.
Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit http://www.smartcardalliance.org.