The United States is well on the way to EMV with the April 2013 Acquiring Mandate already with us. As with every major technology change, the marketplace is filled with contradictory advice and opinion about how firms should approach EMV. What is for sure is that migrating to, and operating in, an EMV environment is very different to that of a traditional magnetic stripe environment. And the firms who have the vision to identify and pursue a commercial strategy for EMV will have the best chances of getting the most out of it. If you are planning a migration to EMV contact or NFC contactless cards, here are seven things to consider in planning your strategy:

1. Leverage global expertise and plan in detail for migration by analysing the requirements of the payment schemes, the impact on your infrastructure and operations, the resources you need to migrate and timeline for completion.

2. Make sure your migration strategy considers the complexity of EMV and that you select the right options, such as your cardholder verification methods,  to reduce risk and improve the cardholder experience; ensure you have a test infrastructure that can emulate all of the configurations in EMV to reduce the possibility of interoperability issues and infield card failure.

3. Recognize that the US payments market is uniquely complex and fragmented with many more players than in other EMV markets. This means the EMV migration path will be different and that testing interoperability will be critical.

4. Consider how to protect your entire payments business as fraud migrates to potentially weaker non-EMV segments such as online commerce.

5. Establish the business opportunities you can now realise as part of the EMV roll out, including reduced fraud, better risk management, loyalty programs, NFC contactless and mobile payments, and new card products.

6. Identify existing customer needs that can be incorporated into your EMV migration project.

7. Launch a program to communicate the benefits of EMV and your future payments roadmap to whoever your customers are.

We examine the question of the US migration to EMV in more detail in our free guide, “What EMV Migration means for US Payment Firms“.

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