News Feature | July 16, 2015

PCI SSC EMV VAR/ISV Qualification Program Aims To Help Expedite EMV Rollout

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

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Time is running out for merchants to adopt EMV-enabled payment systems. As of October 1, liability for payment card fraud shifts from issuers to merchants if they have the technology least compliant with EMV. An effort is under way to help VARs and ISVs streamline the process of helping their clients upgrade their payment systems.

The joint effort between the Payments Security Task Force and the PCI Security Standards Council and the EMV Migration Forum launched a chip education curriculum and pre-qualification program designed to simplify the EMV testing and certification process.

The U.S. EMV Value Added Reseller (VAR) Qualification Program is designed to “help accelerate the deployment of EMV terminals to mid-tier merchants by enabling VARs and ISVs to go through a pre-qualification process using each participating payment brand’s test cases with an accredited EMV VAR Service Provider prior to initiating the final end-to-end- acquirer EMV testing and certification process.”

The optional program includes an educational curriculum on how to implement chip in the U.S. electronic payments marketplace and a pre-qualification process to help VARs and ISVs begin implementation and testing before they begin the process to achieve final certification.

EMV Pre-Qualified Value Added Resellers (VARs) and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) are businesses that have been validated by an EMV VAR Service Provider as having successfully completed a pre-qualification process for one or more payment brands in accordance with the U.S. EMV VAR Qualification Program.

The EMV VAR Service Provider Listing, which is provided as a convenience to the payments industries and its stakeholders, and inclusion on the list, signifies that PCI SSC received “Proof of Accreditation” from one or more card brands for an eligible provider and corresponding solution.