Despite various technology challenges and a recent legal stumbling block in resolving the EMV debit routing issue in the U.S., the EMV Migration Forum says it made significant progress in the past year.

The forum and its working committees were established as a cross-industry body to focus on implementing the EMV smart card initiatives and meeting the October 2015 timeline established by the major card brands.

The forum created a new Debit Technical Work Group in November to deal with the requirements of providing at least two routing options in compliance with the Durbin amendment. Progress on that front slowed when federal Judge Richard Leon told the Federal Reserve Board to revisit its implementation of that rule.

The new work group, created as a result of Leon's ruling, will deliver its recommendation for an industrywide solution for debit routing next year, the forum states in a Dec. 23 press release.

Prior to the judge's ruling, the EMV Migration Forum operated as a recommending body and sounding board for the card brands and the independent debit networks. Ultimately, the independent PIN debit networks formed a new company called the Debit Network Alliance to encourage collaboration.

"Though the U.S. has a complex payments ecosystem and faces ongoing regulatory uncertainties concerning debit, EMV Migration Forum members are committed to advancing U.S. EMV migration and achieving the technology's benefits of reducing fraud, promoting global interoperability and providing a path to future payments innovation," Randy Vanderhoof, director of the EMV Migration Forum, states in a press release.

Citing progress of the past year, the forum says acquirers have met their deadline for EMV readiness and are deploying EMV to their merchants as part of the normal upgrade path. In addition, ATM providers are actively deploying EMV-enabled ATMs, while millions of EMV-chip payment cards are in the marketplace.

Merchants are investing in hardware upgrades for EMV, the forum says.

In the coming year, the forum plans to concentrate on the debit routing issue with the new work group as it seeks technology that will satisfy current and potential future regulations. The work group will examine options for providing routing choices for each card or for each transaction, the forum says.

The forum also has working committees for ATMs, testing and certification, and communication and education for industry participants and consumers. Others include the card-not-present fraud working committee, and a U.S. coordination working committee.

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the payments industry

14-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the industry