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First Data Plugs Into UL Tools For EMV Migration

With the clock ticking down toward the October 2015 deadline for retailers to accept EMV chip payment cards, First Data said it will offer its customers EMV testing tools that have been certified by Visa and MasterCard.

The payments processing giant has struck a deal with testing service UL to provide a tailored version of UL’s EMV test and certification platforms. The goal is to automate as much of the transition from mag-stripe point-of-sale terminals to EMV, especially for large and mid-size merchants who have integrated POS systems.

“The integration of EMV technology is a massive operational undertaking for our merchant clients across the country,” said Steve Mathison, First Data’s VP of Payment Acceptance, in a press release. “Coupled with a multi-layered security program that includes tokens and encryption, EMV adoption will greatly reduce the threat of fraudulent payments at the point of sale, but the implementation can be complex and burdensome.” Using UL’s tools will simplify certification of merchant compliance with EMV standards, he said.

While some major retailers are already committed to going live with EMV POS systems by the end of this month, fewer than half of U.S. merchants’ POS terminals are expected to be ready to accept EMV chip cards by October. After that, merchants without EMV-capable PIN pads will be responsible for the costs of fraudulent use of payment cards through their systems.

But costs and complexity have led many retailers, including some large and mid-size chains, to put off their EMV upgrades until as late as possible. That means millions of stores are now all competing for the same EMV integration and certification services as they race for the deadline.

The First Data/UL deal will give merchants a one-stop EMV migration and certification solution for all major payment networks, the companies said, combining UL’s accredited testing tools and centralized certification management platforms. The migration program will also include training, and eliminate the inefficiencies in the current process of certifying to multiple end-points and certification authorities.

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