EMVCo reports on the future of contactless payments

NFCW Sarah Clark and EMVCo Brain Byrne and Jonathan Main discussing the future of contactless payments
INSIGHTS: NFCW’s Sarah Clark discusses the future of contactless payments with EMVCo’s Brian Byrne and Jonathan Main

A slide deck and video recording of EMVCo’s keynote presentation at Contactless World Congress on the future of contactless payments are now available to access free of charge in the NFCW Knowledge Centre.

During the session, Brian Byrne, EMVCo’s director of engagement and operations, and Jonathan Main, chair of the EMVCo Board of Managers, provided insight into how EMVCo’s forthcoming Contactless Kernel Specification will simplify and advance global contactless acceptance, how elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) offers a state-of-the-art security solution and how IQ demodulation supports improved transaction speeds and more reliable data transmission.

They also explained how developments in wireless technologies including ultra wideband (UWB), Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and WiFi offer opportunities for new use cases, including in-aisle in-store payments and automatic entry payments for events or transport.

EMVCo works with industry stakeholders to develop specifications for payment technologies in order to guarantee worldwide interoperability. It has developed the EMV Contactless Kernel Specification in order to address issues of cost and complexity caused by the current diversity of contactless kernels used in payment terminals, the speakers explained.

EMV Contactless Kernel

The specification will streamline contactless payment acceptance globally whilst supporting existing contactless architecture, co-existing with legacy kernels and minimising impact on processing networks. It will also be optimised for cloud operation and support offline transactions, they said.

In addition, the specification will lead to enhanced security in contactless transactions by incorporating advanced technologies such as ECC, which provides a higher level of security whilst working with smaller cryptographic keys than existing RSA cryptography solutions.

The implementation of IQ demodulation technology will also offer more reliable data transmission that will improve transaction speeds as well as “greater flexibility in where the card or device can be positioned to be read by a payment terminal”.

EMVCo is also currently exploring the opportunities and challenges of longer-range wireless technologies such as BLE, UWB, WiFi and mobile data to determine how they might impact on contactless payment systems and how future specifications might be introduced to ensure interoperability and security across new use cases, especially those involving longer-range wireless data transfer, Byrne and Main revealed.

During the Q&A session, chaired by NFCW editor Sarah Clark, the speakers answered questions relating to the availability, implementation and impact of the EMV Contactless Kernel Specification, technologies including software POS contactless acceptance solutions and biometrics, and issues that EMVCo is exploring in relation to UWB, BLE and other longer-range contactless technologies.

A video recording of the event, along with a copy of EMVCo’s slide deck from the session, is now available to watch in the NFCW Knowledge Centre here.

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