MasterCard Assigns Contactless Communication Protocol to EMVCo

26 March 2007

MasterCard Worldwide has assigned the PayPass ISO/IEC 14443 Implementation Specification v1.1 to EMVCo, the EMV standards body jointly owned by JCB, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa International, in a move which signals significant progress towards a common platform for contactless EMV payment transactions.

This contribution will be the basis for the EMV Contactless Communication Protocol Specification, to be released in the second quarter of 2007. Until then, EMVCo will administer the licensing and distribution of the PayPass ISO/IEC 14443 Implementation Specification v1.1, which defines a contactless communication protocol and associated testing requirements for radio frequency-based contactless payments at the point of sale. It is an established specification already in use by JCB, MasterCard and Visa.

Ownership of the contactless communication protocol specification has been assigned to EMVCo to further the organisation’s efforts to create common standards, globally, for contactless EMV payment transactions which will be available to all of its payment system members.

“A common approach to contactless technology will result in streamlined development and testing processes, leading to reduced costs and a faster time to market for financial institutions and merchants,” says Kazuhiro Matsumoto, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Global Infrastructure and Technologies at JCB Co., Ltd. and member of the EMVCo Executive Committee.

There are no technical changes to the specification with this assignment of ownership. The specification will support all existing EMV-based contactless solutions and will in the longer term provide the foundation for the development of a common contactless EMV application by EMVCo.

The specification will be made available to the industry on a royalty-free basis under licence by EMVCo. EMVCo will shortly announce a timeline for the availability of type approval testing to the new EMVCo standard, first for contactless readers and then for cards.

“EMVCo’s commitment to develop common standards for EMV contactless payments derives from the organisation’s goal to evolve in line with the requirements of the global payments industry,” comments Art Kranzley, Group Executive, Advanced Payments at MasterCard Worldwide and Chairman of the EMVCo Executive Committee.

“By basing the future interoperable infrastructure for contactless payment specifications on the existing de facto standard for contactless communications, EMVCo will give financial institutions, retailers and merchants, the confidence they need to invest in this stable and supported technology in the short term.”

Gaylon Howe, Executive Vice President of Global Strategy, Products and Innovation at Visa International and member of the EMVCo Executive Committee, adds: “EMVCo continues its role of developing and supporting standards that serve the payments industry and will ensure a smooth, global and interoperable migration to contactless technology. This latest development reinforces that message and highlights the recent and ongoing expansion of EMVCo’s scope and relevance to the payments industry. In addition to developing common standards among payment systems, EMVCo continually strives to facilitate the cost-effective implementation of those standards.”

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