Visa is announcing plans to accelerate the migration to contact chip and contactless EMV chip technology in
the U.S. The adoption of dual-interface chip technology will help prepare the U.S. payment infrastructure for the
arrival of Near Field Communication (NFC)-based mobile payments by building the necessary infrastructure to
accept and process chip transactions.
Not only will chip technology accelerate mobile innovations, it is also expected to enhance payment security
through the use of dynamic authentication. Chip technology greatly reduces a criminal’s ability to use stolen
payment card data by introducing dynamic values for each transaction. Even if payment card data is
compromised, a counterfeit card would be unusable at the point of sale (POS) without the presence of the
card’s unique elements. By eliminating static authentication, we reduce the value of stolen cardholder data,
benefiting all stakeholders.
Visa’s plan includes merchant incentives to upgrade to EMV chip-enabled terminals, requirements for acquirer
processors to support chip acceptance and the introduction of U.S. liability shift policies.
Specifically, Visa will waive Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance validation
requirements to encourage merchant investment in contact and contactless chip payment terminals. Visa will
also require acquirer processors to ensure that their systems support dynamic data acceptance (i.e., chip) and
will institute a domestic and cross-border counterfeit liability shift.
Visa’s Counterfeit Liability Shift Policies
Visa intends to institute a liability shift in the U.S. for domestic and cross-border counterfeit transactions
effective 1 October 2015. Visa’s global POS counterfeit liability shift policies are designed to encourage EMV
chip card issuance and acceptance in participating geographical regions, effectively creating a more secure
environment for transactions within and between each participating Visa region. Note: The liability shift
encourages chip transactions because any chip-on-chip transaction (i.e., a chip card read by a chip terminal)
provides dynamic authentication data, which helps to better protect all parties.
With this type of liability shift, the party that is the cause of a chip-on-chip transaction not occurring (i.e., either
the issuer or the merchant’s acquirer) will be financially liable for any resulting card-present counterfeit fraud
losses. When a transaction occurs using chip technology, any liability for counterfeit fraud, though unlikely,
would follow current Visa Operating Regulations.
The policy assigns liability for counterfeit fraud to the party that has not made the investment in EMV chip cards
(issuers) or terminals (merchants’ acquirers). The policy encourages wider deployment of EMV cards and
EMV chip implementation is accelerating globally. Today, excluding the U.S., 44 percent of all cards are EMV
chip cards, and 74 percent of all terminals are EMV chip-capable, with 62 percent of cross-border transactions
conducted with a chip card at a chip terminal.
U.S. Participation Introduced in Global Counterfeit Liability Shift Policy
Visa plans that effective 1 October 2015, the U.S. will be included in the Global POS Liability Shift Policy, which
will apply to all issuers and merchants’ acquirers in the U.S., with the exception of transactions at Automated
Fuel Dispensers (AFDs). Transactions made at AFDs will be excluded from the liability shift for a period of two
(2) years due to the challenges faced by the petroleum industry in upgrading terminals to accept EMV chip
cards. Similarly, effective 1 October 2017, transactions made at AFD terminals will be included in the Global
POS Liability Shift Policy.
Note: This liability shift policy change excludes counterfeit fraud at U.S. ATMs. Visa will continue to evaluate
the potential for an expansion to include ATMs.
Preparing for Payment Technology Evolution
As the U.S. point-of-sale payment infrastructure continues to evolve from the static magnetic stripe to intelligent
devices such as EMV chip cards and Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile phones, this liability shift policy
change will help ensure that the acceptance infrastructure is ready. It will also allow acquirers, merchants and
issuers to invest in new technology to ensure that cardholders can continue to make secure and frictionless
transactions across all channels.