EMV Roadmap

American Express lays out plan for new security standard

NEW YORK -- Credit-card giant American Express announced its "network roadmap" to advance EMV chip-based contact, contactless and mobile payments for all merchants, processors and issuers of American Express-branded cards in the United States.

American Express officials said they will work alongside other industry participants to drive interoperability across the United States and other countries and support chip-based technology for chip and PIN (personal identification number), "chip and signature" (or plastic-payment cards with a data chip embedded in them along with a customer's signature), contactless and mobile transactions.

EMV stands for "Europay, MasterCard and Visa," which is a standard for chip-based card processing.

The company's key policy requirements and dates are:

  • By April 2013, processors must be able to support American Express EMV chip-based contact, contactless and mobile transactions.
  • Beginning October 2013, merchants will be eligible to receive relief from PCI (payment card industry) data security standard (DSS) reporting requirements if the merchants' point-of-sale (POS) acceptance locations are enabled to process American Express EMV chip-based contact and contactless transactions.
  • Effective October 2015, American Express will institute a fraud liability shift (FLS) policy that will transfer liability for certain types of fraudulent transactions away from the party that has the most secure form of EMV technology. U.S. fuel merchants will have an additional two years, until October 2017, before the FLS takes effect for transactions generated from automated fuel dispensers.

"The payments industry is continuing to evolve rapidly, and American Express recognizes the growing demand for chip-based contact and contactless payments in the U.S.," said Suzan Kereere, senior vice president and general manager, American Express Global Network Business. "We also fully recognize the complexities involved in migrating to EMV chip-based technology, and our first priority is to provide choice and flexibility for merchants and our card-issuing partners so they can adopt the EMV solution that best meets their needs."

She said, "As a global payments network, we understand the benefits associated with EMV-based technology, and we are committed to continue enhancing security at the point-of-sale for both merchants and American Express card members."

New York City-based American Express plans to begin issuing EMV-compliant cards in the United States in the latter half of 2012.

As an early adopter of EMV technology on its global network, American Express already processes millions of EMV transactions. American Express is one of four major payment organizations that is an equity member in EMVCo, which is an organization committed to driving secure and interoperable payments globally for chip-card transactions.