Contactless Operating Mode Requirements Clarification white paper
Contactless Operating Mode Requirements Clarification

Publication Date: February 2020

As contactless payments continue to take hold in the U.S., many merchants and issuers are looking to provide these capabilities to their customers. Contactless emerged in the U.S. before the migration to EMV chip technology and, as a result, two operating modes coexist today: contactless magnetic stripe data (MSD), and contactless EMV.  Contactless MSD is being phased out as merchants, acquirers and issuers are now capable of processing full EMV chip data. The U.S. is now in a transitional period with both modes active, creating a complex environment for merchants and issuers to navigate when trying to align to each of the payment network’s rules.

This U.S. Payments Forum white paper provides a resource to help merchants, issuers and acquirers understand the contactless operating mode rules set by each of the payment networks.

The white paper provides:

  • An overview of contactless EMV and contactless MSD technologies
  • Tables with a summary of each payment network’s current contactless requirements for issuing contactless cards and devices and accepting contactless payments

Please note: The information and materials available on this web page (“Information”) is provided solely for convenience and does not constitute legal or technical advice. All representations or warranties, express or implied, are expressly disclaimed, including without limitation, implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose and all warranties regarding accuracy, completeness, adequacy, results, title and non-infringement. All Information is limited to the scenarios, stakeholders and other matters specified, and should be considered in light of applicable laws, regulations, industry rules and requirements, facts, circumstances and other relevant factors. None of the Information should be interpreted or construed to require or promote the establishment of any solution, practice, configuration, rule, requirement or specification inconsistent with applicable legal requirements, any of which requirements may change over time. The U.S. Payments Forum assumes no responsibility to support, maintain or update the Information, regardless of any such change. Use of or reliance on the Information is at the user’s sole risk, and users are strongly encouraged to consult with their respective payment networks, acquirers, processors, vendors and appropriately qualified technical and legal experts prior to all implementation decisions.

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