Stephanie Ericksen, who is the head of “authentication product integration” at Visa Inc., has stated that they will be able to build an infrastructure to accept NFC mobile payments, by migrating to the chip technology. After they had announced their roadmap last year, they have seen a large interest among the big and small card issuers in the US, who were more than willing to invest in the chip technology. This is a significant progress considering the fact that even 18 months ago, there seemed to be no Visa-branded EMV chip cards that were issued anywhere in the US.
Ericksen was referring to the “roadmap” where Visa had planned to give incentives to retailers as well as payment processors & acquirers in order to convince them to shift to a better technology such as chip cards. As per this approach from Visa, both the methods along with the “no signature required” approach will be available to card issuers as well as retailers in the US, to suit their preferences. If retailers shifted to terminals, which support the chip and contactless transactions, they may be exempted from “card data security” requirements that have been found to be expensive and burdensome in the past.
Chase Card Services, United Nations Federal Credit Union, State Employees` Credit Union, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank have issued credit cards with embedded chip technology, as per reports from Visa. This is a significant development, state industry analysts, because Visa had been looking at getting the retailers to support the chip technology, before getting financial institutions to start issuing them.
Eric Schindewolf, Vice President, Product Development, Wells Fargo Consumer Credit Card, stated that Wells Fargo had led the way in 2011, with the EVM smart card pilot, where around 15,000 customers had been issued these cards. These were frequent travelers to countries where they had already switched to chip-based payment modules. Due to the overwhelming success the pilot project had seen, they were trying to ensure that this program has a wider reach.
However, all industry analysts are not too impressed by the announcement made by Visa, because they felt that the one-million mark only filled the “boutique and travel” niche, where using the card with magnetic stripe was proving to be a handicap.