Data security organizations have developed an EMV chip-card education program to help independent sales organizations and software vendors simplify testing and certification for their merchant clients.

Education programs about EMV chip cards have heightened as the U.S. moves closer to replacing its mag-stripe payment cards under an Oct. 1 liability shift timeline. On that date, the party not able to handle EMV transactions will be liable for fraud.

The Payment Security Task Force, Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council and EMV Migration Forum this week launched their EMV Value Added Reseller Qualification Program.

The organizations describe the program as "chip education curriculum and pre-qualification" for EMV testing and certification.

"It's essential to close the education gap on EMV chip technology for small and mid-sized merchants and their value-added resellers and software vendors," Randy Vanderhoof, director of the EMV Migration Forum, stated in an April 30 press release.

The program series aids those who are behind in EMV implementation by providing information about the U.S. market for EMV, debit deployment, implementation planning, core terminal software guidelines, lessons learned in other markets, and testing considerations and assistance.

Payments consultant Fime also participated in the program and recognizes its pre-qualification status, which will speed up certifications for ISOs, VARs and software vendors.

Fime has been offering its EMV knowledge to smaller issuers who may not outsource entire EMV projects. Fime also collaborates on the development of EMV testing tools.

Resellers and software vendors that use this program "will be better equipped to help merchants in their implementations of chip technology, and this preparation will accelerate the implementation of chip in the U.S.," Xavier Giandominici, director of FIME America, said in the release.

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