Payments of the future

Payments, Mobile and Transit Industry Professionals Come Together – at 2012 Smart Card Alliance Payments Summit

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Last week, the Gemalto team headed out to Salt Lake City, Utah for the 2012 Smart Card Alliance Payments Summit.  The three-day event lived up to its name, covering all things payments such as EMV chip card payments, mobile payments and wallets, NFC, and open transit payments.

The hot topic of the event?  EMV’s impending arrival to the United States.  We were lucky enough to get a spot in the overflowing ballroom as executives from both MasterCard and Visa took the stage to clarify and develop their companies’ roadmaps for EMV implementation.  A few takeaways:

MasterCard Worldwide’s chief emerging payments officer Ed McLaughlin said that MasterCard sees EMV as the foundation for the future of payments.  This future includes secure contact and contactless chip card, mobile, and online payments.  McLaughlin said that US merchants that invest in dynamic and secure authentication methods would receive the most financial benefits.

Jennifer Fischer, Visa’s head of US payment system risk, noted that Visa issuers have issued one million EMV chip cards in the United States to date.  She talked about Visa’s roadmap, which urges an “always online” environment with dynamic authentication methods.

We also were eager to hear presentations from US issuers that have started issuing EMV cards to their frequently traveling customers.  Executives from United Nations Federal Credit Union (UN FCU), Silicon Valley Bank, US Bank, and Wells Fargo all reported very positive reactions from their customers.

Customers are “actively seeking out the cards,” according to Eric Schindewolf, vice president of product development for Wells Fargo Consumer Credit Card.  EMV security is working, too: Merrill Halpern, UNFCU’s assistant vice president of the card services department, said that reported fraud from their EMV portfolio is down 30 percent in the past year.

Mobile wallets and payments providers also had exciting news at the event.  Jim Stapleton, director of sales for Isis, announced more details on upcoming summer pilots of the mobile commerce platform – a venture between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless – in Salt Lake City and Austin. As recently announced, Gemalto is the Trusted Service Manager (TSM) for Isis.

Stapleton told the Salt Lake Tribune, “This summer in Salt Lake City and in Austin we will be launching kind of a full frontal attack across carriers, banks and merchants [that will be] a conversion opportunity for consumers to actually experience this new world we’ve all talked about, to pull that future forward in those two cities.”

Wrapping up the first day, we had the opportunity to hear from three major transit agencies currently working on open fare collection projects.  The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SETPA), the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York are all committing to and/or starting projects for “future proof” open payment systems.

The Payments Summit started off a busy month for Gemalto.  Next up, the RSA Conference 2012 in San Francisco where information security is the focus, and Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona where all things mobile and associated services will dominate.  See you there!

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