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July 29, 2014

FIME Gains Approval to Perform Visa EMV Testing

U.S. credit card companies are slowly moving toward adopting EMV chip technology, requiring near field communication (NFC) handset manufacturers to confirm their products comply with the requirements of the new payment system. As part of this process, Visa recently accredited the FIME EMEA laboratory to deliver Visa Mobile Payment Application (VMPA) testing, which validates Visa payment applications on secure elements.

"With the U.S. EMV chip migration moving forward, we are committed to supporting our U.S. customers with the most complete range of services to support their contactless-ready EMV chip projects," said Xavier Giandominici, director at FIME America. "This qualification was an important step for us in offering a one-stop-shop to U.S. NFC handset manufacturers, enabling them to qualify their products to all required specifications quickly, cost effectively and successfully."

EMV — named after its developers (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) — is a smart chip technology for payment instruments (including cards, mobile phones and more), which have embedded microprocessor chips that store and protect cardholder data.

For example, EMV chip cards are standard bank cards, but they are embedded with a micro-computer chip. Some may require a PIN instead of a signature to complete the transaction process. Already in use in Europe and other parts of the world, the technology is sometimes called "chip and PIN" or "chip and signature."

EMV technology is designed to increase security, reduce fraud and enable the use of future value-added applications. Credit card providers in the United States are still rolling out the technology to their customers.

One of the elements involved in the rollout is the need for handset manufacturers to confirm compliance of NFC-enabled mobile devices to the functional requirements laid out by the payment system, which is one of the services FIME will provide.

"The U.S. has a unique opportunity to capitalize on the capabilities of EMV chip technology — contact, contactless and mobile NFC payments — all at once," Giandominici said. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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