“The costs [of PCI validation] can be significant,” says Eduardo Perez, the head of Visa’s global payments risk group. It costs some merchants $500,000 a year to perform the assessments, he says.
Visa also is trying to lay the groundwork for mobile-payments acceptance. The systems it is testing rely largely on the contactless payments infrastructure, and “we’re seeing a tremendous interest in mobile payments,” Perez says.
When upgrading terminals, adding chip acceptance can cost just $30 more a unit, he says. That does not include other infrastructure expenses, Perez says, but the point is that the validation waiver addresses the concerns merchants expressed over upgrade investments.
The waiver offer in the U.S. is an extension of the Technology Innovation Program, which Visa introduced in other countries in February.