EMVCo tests consumer mobile devices for contactless acceptance

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EMV specifications body EMVCo has started a pilot program to evaluate consumer mobile devices for contactless payment acceptance, enabling vendors to have smartphones and tablets evaluated for possible use by merchants to accept payments without attached card readers.

The Early Adopter Program is a response to payments industry requests to support merchants and acquirers who want to use commercial off-the-shelf consumer mobile devices to accept contactless payments.

These types of devices have limitations because of integration constraints, but EMVCo believes they could still "provide a satisfactory user experience for some specific use cases," Junya Tanaka, chair of the EMVCo executive committee, said in a Tuesday press release. "The goal of EMVCo's initiative is to enable a good consumer experience when mobile devices are used for contactless payment acceptance."

The program is an interim step in a longer-term EMVCo initiative exploring how to adapt the terminal testing program and EMV contactless specifications for off-the-shelf mobile devices.

EMVCo associates and subscribers, made up of banks, vendors, merchants and others, are working with EMVCo in the pilot program.

The program evaluates the performance of the devices as it relates to built-in contactless capability based on interoperability requirements related to read range and user experience needs as outlined in EMV specifications.

Based on these criteria, testers place an evaluation score made available to the vendors, who can use these scores to refine their product designs and demonstrate performance to acquirers, merchants, payment systems operators and other interested parties.

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Compliance EMVCo Mobile payments Mobile point-of-sale NFC