[Dave Birch] When Mark Bowerman, a spokesman for APACS, the UK’s payments association, was quoted saying that the US does not have a chip and PIN system, while the same system that is used in Britain is now being introduced in many other countries, he was highlighting a significant difference in the retail e-payment environments. He was asked about chip and PIN following a survey from our old friends the European Security Transport Association that showed that the UK has the highest levels of card fraud in Europe, with around a fifth of the population estimated to have been affected by credit or debit card-related scams. Anyway, Mark said that “The system that Britain rolled out is a global system and we are the most advanced country in terms of rollout out of the whole world… Every country in the world is signed up to introduce this system apart from America.”. So, now that even Canada is migrating to chip and PIN, how might EMV finally get off the ground as across the pond?

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I noticed that in some recent comments, MasterCard’s Chief Risk Officer, Christopher Thom, said “not far off is the day when, through the assignment of an ever-changing access code, every transaction will be unique, incapable of being replayed and utterly useless to the criminal fraternity”. I assume that by an “ever-changing access code” he means the EMV cryptogram, so perhaps the introduction of EMV into the U.S. will happen in my lifetime after all. One scenario, which will seem less outlandish once you reflect on it, is that issuers migrate cards to EMV (since they will be adding chips to the cards for contactless migration anyway) but U.S. merchants do not, since all the terminals are online anyway. Instead, EMV in the U.S. makes an impact on CNP fraud because banks who have to comply with better 2FA instructions find it cheaper and easier to send their customers a voucher to pick up a USB smart card reader or token authentication device at CompUSA than to develop yet another security system.

A quick plug: Richard Allen and I will be talking about this and related issues at the European Plastic Card & Online Fraud Detection & Prevention conference in London at the end of the month.

My opinions are my own (I think) and are presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public. [posted with ecto]

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