February 04, 2013

Visa announced plans today to expand its EMV migration roadmap to include debit cards and ATM's. The company said in a statement today that it would provide some of its proprietary EMV chip technology to debit card issuers to help facilitate adoption and compliance with debit regulations. Visa also set deadlines for third-party ATM acquirer processors and sub-processors to update their ATM networks to process EMV chip data.

"As part of our commitment [to EMV migration], we are offering the industry a common U.S. debit solution that will streamline implementation of secure EMV chip technology and advance the U.S. marketplace towards next generation payments," Jim McCarthy, global head of product for Visa, said in the company's statement.

[See Related: The Slow March Toward EMV Adoption in the U.S.]

Visa said that it came to the decision to offer the common debit solution after consulting with industry stakeholders. Visa also said that the solution will address U.S. debit regulations that require that debit issuers enable at least two unaffiliated routing options for their cards.

Visa will make the EMV technology available free of charge, according to the statement, along with an unbranded Application Identifier, which is used to address an application within the card.

Merchants will be able to route debit transactions through the network of their choice with the solution, same as they do with magnetic stripe cards today, the statement said. Issuers will also still be able to change debit networks without having to re-issue cards. All transactions can be routed using the same methodology Visa currently uses for magnetic stripe cards, and debit networks that don't have their own EMV solutions will be able to support debit EMV chip transactions with the solution.

Visa also announced a liability shift to make ATM's EMV-compliant, saying if an EMV chip card is used at an ATM that doesn't accept EMV the ATM acquirer will be responsible for fraudulent charges. Visa will also assign liability for counterfeit fraud at ATM's to the card issuer or acquirer if one of them has not accepted EMV technology. The deadline for U.S. third-party ATM acquirers to support chip data is April 1, 2015, Visa said in the statement.

Jonathan Camhi is a graduate of the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism, where he focused on international reporting and interned at the Hindustan Times in Delhi, ...