By Randy Vanderhoof, Executive Director, Smart Card Alliance
It is with great pleasure that I announce the launch of the EMV Migration Forum (the Forum), a new, independent, cross-industry organization created to support the alignment of the EMV implementation steps required to successfully move from magnetic strip technology to secure EMV contact and contactless technology in the United States. Many of us have seen, in other markets around the world, that cooperation and alignment among global payment networks, regional payment networks, issuers, processors, merchants, and consumers is vital for a timely, efficient and effective transition. We’ve heard from payment industry stakeholders who have long called for a neutral forum to focus on the coordination and cooperation necessary to ensure for an effective transition to EMV contact and contactless technology. Our members, other associations, and trade groups have consistently been supportive and eager for us to establish an EMV-focused organization for this vital migration.
With this in mind, the Smart Card Alliance has taken the lead to assemble an organization that will focus on this needed cooperation and coordination across the payments landscape. While part of the Smart Card Alliance corporate organization, the EMV Migration Forum will have a separate membership and aims to include organizations with no previous involvement with or usage of smart cards or chip technology other than how this technology is integrated into the EMV payments infrastructure.
The new organization is seeking representatives from financial card issuers, payments processors, merchants, acquirers, payment networks, industry suppliers and other constituent groups including payments industry associations to ensure that all stakeholders in the payment industry are represented.
The Forum will provide a seat at the table shared by all payments stakeholders to make recommendations, share best practices, and discuss challenges that are impacting the efficient and timely migration to EMV. The Forum will engage in collaborative projects to educate the payments market to the process-related changes to the payments infrastructure and address the needs for consumer awareness and education about EMV cards and terminals and how these changes will impact them.
This is the time for an organization like the EMV Migration Forum. American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa have all announced their plans for moving to an EMV-based payments infrastructure in the U.S., with payment processor mandates in place for 2013, and major changes for managing fraud risk set for 2015.
While working towards this day – where the Smart Card Alliance steps into the forefront and and into new territory– I was frequently reminded of the quote by the visionary Rosabeth Moss Kanter, in which she said “Leaders must wake people out of inertia. They must get people excited about something they’ve never seen before, something that does not yet exist.”
While we’re certainly not the first to do this, I’m proud to oversee an organization that is willing to break through that inertia and work past risk to fill a need that we already know exists.
I invite you to learn more about the Forum by visiting http://www.smartcardalliance.org/pages/activities-emv-migration-forum.