Visa Inc. recently established a 12-year lifecycle for EMV chips in payment cards, and CPI Card Group is among the first card manufacturers to enact the new policy, eliminating the need for issuers to get EMV chips in Visa cards approved every three years.
Under the new policy, an EMV chip is good for use for 12 years from the date it receives certification from EMVCo. After 12 years, it must be removed from circulation or destroyed.
Previously, individual EMV chips were approved by Visa for three years, with the option to seek approval for an additional three years each time the expiration date came around, with no restriction on how long a card could stay in circulation.
"This policy removes uncertainty from the renewal process," Visa said in its bulletin announcing the policy in January of this year.
Visa's move should simplify long-term planning for issuers that are grappling for the first time with chips that have their own expiration dates, apart from the other considerations of when a card typically expires, said Troy Bernard, EMV and new technologies product director for Littleton, Colo.-based CPI Card Group.
"The magnetic stripe technology in older-style payment cards doesn't expire, but EMV chips do, and this has forced issuers to keep an eye on when the approval period for each chip needs to be renewed, or re-approved, every three years," Bernard said.
Introducing a definitive beginning and end to an EMV chip's lifecycle should aid issuers, he suggested.
Visa said it reserves the right to remove approved chips if a bug or security flaw is discovered, and Visa chip specifications and applets will continue to be introduced and sunset independently of the card product approval process.