News from the 2014 Payments Summit: 2014 to be Watershed Year for U.S. Payments as EMV Chip Card, Mobile Payments Ramp Up in Retail and Transit

News from the 2014 Payments Summit: 2014 to be Watershed Year for U.S. Payments as EMV Chip Card, Mobile Payments Ramp Up in Retail and Transit

Princeton Junction, N.J., Feb. 12, 2014–A dramatic payments evolution is underway in the U.S., bringing consumers new, secure and convenient ways to pay with EMV chip cards and mobile devices in retail and transit. More than 600 individuals leading this payments transformation–including card brands, banks, merchants, mobile wallet providers and transit agencies–gathered last week at the Smart Card Alliance 2014 Payments Summit to collaborate on making 2014 a year of significant progress.

The Summit kicked off with keynote presentations and panels featuring executives from American Express, Discover, Isis, MasterCard, U.S. Department of Transportation, Visa, Walmart and more. For a recap of the news from the opening day of the Payments Summit, “U.S. Payments Industry Voices Commitment to EMV Chip Payments, Debates Best Practices for Implementation,” visit

As the Payments Summit moved into its second and third days, discussions went deeper into the business and implementation considerations for EMV chip and mobile payment technologies emerging in the U.S. Several presenters noted unique considerations for the U.S. payments system in its move to EMV chip payments, including:

  • The complexity of the U.S. payments system. Nick Pisarev, Giesecke & Devrient America, compared U.S. EMV chip migration to “all of Europe deploying EMV at the same time”
  • Card Verification Methods (CVMs). Kevin Emery, Discover, said the U.S. “will see all of them,” which means consumers will be using signatures, PINs and/or no CVM at the retail point-of-sale
  • Education. Cynthia Knowles, FIS, stressed education of merchants and consumers, telling the audience that the payments industry needs to engage in consistent education, collaboration and cross-industry cooperation to keep up with the rapid change
  • ATM upgrades. Ron Schnittman, Bank of America, advised ATM owners to get started now upgrading their hardware for EMV chip, and to consider accepting contactless EMV payment devices

While EMV chip payment technology secures transactions in-store, it is also critical to secure e-commerce and telephone transactions, referred to as card-not-present (CNP) transactions. Citing the new Smart Card Alliance white paper, ”Card-Not-Present Fraud: A Primer on Trends and Transaction Authentication Processes,” Astrid Wang, Gemalto, described several ways to authenticate CNP transactions. In one example she explained how consumers could use their contactless EMV chip card together with their NFC mobile device to tap, pay and authorize a transaction.

The outlook for NFC-based mobile wallets remained positive, especially as U.S. retailers upgrade their POS terminals to accept contact and contactless EMV cards. This upgrade, by default, makes them ready to accept NFC-based payments. Also, the availability of NFC mobile handsets and secure elements is no longer a barrier for NFC adoption, according to Xavier Giandominici of FIME America, who said that there are almost 300 NFC-enabled handset models and over 50 certified secure elements in the market today.

Other presenters saw Host Card Emulation (HCE), which enables NFC transactions without the use of a secure element, as an exciting innovation that could propel NFC. Micheal Gargiulo, TNG Technologies, outlined the differences in transactions using HCE vs. the secure element. He said that HCE may be best for low-value NFC transactions, because its transaction flow makes HCE transactions more prone to attack. As for HCE for contactless NFC payments, Gargiulo said he is “not so sure.”

Meanwhile, mobile continues to be a key component for transit agencies including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit (MTA NYCT), the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) as they move forward with advanced open payment initiatives. Greg Garback, WMATA, stressed that the agency wants to be able to accept “literally everything in your wallet.” Several agency executives also discussed interest in mobile ticketing to bring another layer of convenience to transit riders.

Mobile wallets and NFC technology will be the focus when the Smart Card Alliance hosts its annual NFC Solutions Summit this June 3-4. In Austin this year for the first time, the Summit will provide an expanded look at NFC devices and add-ons, the status of the growing NFC ecosystem, the growing world of NFC-enabled payments and other applications, NFC and mobile security, and global market forecasts. A call for speakers and session topics is now open at

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., Latin America, and the Caribbean. For more information please visit