EMVCo intros streamlined approvals for mobile payment devices

The EMV Technical body EMVCo has announced that it has implemented a formal approval process to confirm that contactless mobile payment-enabled devices can operate seamlessly with EMV Level 1-approved payment acceptance terminals.

According to a press release, this is the first time that EMVCo has provided formal certification for contactless mobile payment devices.

The new approval process incorporates Level 1 tests traditionally managed by the individual payment systems, bringing efficiencies to the process and reducing time to market, the release said.

EMV Contactless Mobile Payment Type Approval covers both secure element and host card emulation technologies. Updated Level 1 testing and approval includes:

  • digital and analog testing for electrical, mechanical and communication protocol characteristics of the mobile device as defined within the EMV Contactless Communication Protocol Specification — Book D, version 2.5;
  • interoperability testing to validate the interaction between the mobile payment device and a range of EMVCo-approved payment acceptance terminals; and
  • performance testing of the mobile payment device to ensure optimal transaction times. This test is currently available only for universal integrated circuit cards, with embedded SE and HCE testing to follow.

All types of mobile devices enabled to make contactless payments are eligible for certification, including smartphones, wearables and tablets, the release said.

“EMVCo recognizes that the use of mobile devices to make contactless payments is growing in popularity,” said EMVCo Board of Managers Chair Jonathan Main. It is important that the payments industry supports manufacturers’ product development cycles, while ensuring that the correct testing is undertaken to confirm that a product will be interoperable with the established payment infrastructure. The centralized testing framework from EMVCo will significantly streamline the existing process to optimize product time to market.”

Accredited EMVCo laboratories have authorization to use qualified tests tools to perform the required evaluations. The formal letter of approval is issued by EMVCo, and is recognized by the payments industry.

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