Visa Says Mobile Payments Are Among Its High priorities

On Wednesday, credit card giant Visa announced plans to accelerate the migration to EMV contact and contactless chip technology in the U.S.

Although all signs had previously pointed to Visa ramping up its efforts in the mobile payments space, today’s announcement confirms the otherwise apparent commitment.

According to Visa, the adoption of dual-interface chip technology will help prepare the U.S. payment infrastructure for the arrival of NFC-based mobile payments by building the necessary infrastructure to accept and process chip transactions that support either a signature or PIN at the point of sale.

“By encouraging investments in EMV contact and contactless chip technology, we will speed up the adoption of mobile payments as well as improve international interoperability and security,” says Jim McCarthy, global head of product for Visa. “As NFC mobile payments and other chip-based emerging technologies are poised to take off in the coming years, we are taking steps today to create a commercial framework that will support growth opportunities and create value for all participants in the payment chain.”

In a press release hyping the heightened priority given to mobile payments, Visa says that not only will chip technology accelerate mobile innovations, it is also expected to secure payments into the future 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 without the presence of the card’s unique elements. By reducing static authentication, we diminish the value of stolen cardholder data, benefiting all stakeholders.

“Dynamic authentication is the key to securing payments into the future,” adds Ellen Richey, chief enterprise risk officer for Visa. “Adding dynamic elements to transactions makes account data less attractive to steal and takes more merchant systems out of harm’s way, shrinking the battlefield against criminals. The migration to chip technology will be an important security layer and a critical step in a comprehensive strategy to use dynamic authentication across all markets and all channels.”