February 03, 2009

American Express (New York) has become the fourth owner-member of EMVCo, the EMV standards body jointly owned by JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc. The announcement comes as EMVCo seeks greater industry participation in the development of the EMV Specifications for global chip technology.

American Express was an existing supporter and end-user, according to EMVCo. The financial services company has now acquired a one-fourth share of EMVCo from the respective holdings of JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc., giving it an equal interest in the organization. EMVCo's management structure has been changed to give American Express representation on the organization's executive committee and board of managers, in addition to equal participation in its working groups.

"[American Express is] committed to driving interoperability in payments our participation in EMVCo will facilitate this for our merchant, issuer and card member customers," said Susan Hillel, SVP of Global Network Operations at American Express, in a statement. "Involvement by the four major payment organizations will drive secure and interoperable payments globally for transactions made with chip cards by aligning and progressing EMV Specifications. We look forward to working with JCB, MasterCard and Visa on this very critical industry initiative."