What is EMV?


EMV Integrated Circuit Card (IC card) Specifications are an international, credit card industry standard for chip based debit and credit cards. The Specifications are consistent with the ISO 7816 series of standards for IC cards, also called “chip cards”, “integrated circuit cards” or “smart cards”. In Europe, primarily the UK, these cards are also called “chip and pin” cards.

Around the world, IC cards are replacing older credit and debit cards. Older models use a magnetic strip to transfer information to a point of sale terminal and require a signature for verification. The newer IC cards have a smart chip that’s more secure than the magnetic stripe on older cards. In addition, since the chip can run small software applications, services can be provided directly on the card. One of the most noticeable features of the cards is the use of a PIN instead of a signature. Verification of the PIN is done with software on the card. The transaction cannot continue without the physical presence of the card or the customer’s knowledge of the PIN.

The Standard was developed by Europay International, MasterCard International and Visa International. The three companies formed EMVCo in 1999 to promulgate the standard. Since 1999, Europay was purchased by Mastercard and JCB International joined the company in 2005.