For the first time, EMVCo, the card network-operated EMV standards body, has established an approval process to formally certify that contactless mobile payment devices can operate at EMV approved terminals.

The process streamlines testing and shortens the time to market by incorporating tests traditionally managed by the individual payment systems.

"EMVCo recognizes that the use of mobile devices to make contactless payments is growing in popularity," Jonathan Main, current chairman of the EMVCo board of managers, stated in an Aug. 17 press release.  "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."

Accredited EMVCo laboratories are authorized to use test tools to perform the required evaluations, and a formal letter of approval from EMVCO is issued for the qualifying devices.

The approval process covers mobile devices using the handset's secure element to hold needed credentials, or those operating through host card emulation, a technology that bypasses the secure element in initiating a transaction.

Tests will cover interoperability with terminals and optimal transaction times, a process currently only tested for universal integrated circuit cards, EMVCo said.

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

Most recently, EMV certification provider Fime received EMVCo approval to use its global test tool for the payment applications that operate through a handset secure element.

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