Smart Card 3rd Annual Payments Summit, an event featuring the contactless payment phenomenon becoming more popular in the world’s leading banks, took place February 23rd – 25th in Salt Lake City.
The Smart Card Alliance is working to enhance a broader understanding, adoption and use of smart card technology. Participants at the February Summit covered an array of issues concerning contactless payments in transit systems, mobile payments and retailers. With EMV implementation as their primary concern, they looked at the numbers and considered future plans for expansion.
Participants discussed the widespread adoption of contactless payments beginning with U.S. transit fare collection systems. Currently 12 U.S. airports are deploying contactless PayPass acceptance while MasterCard has issued 70 million PayPass cards, the majority of which in the U.S.
EMV was also a hot topic at the conference. Dodd Roberts, president of the Merchant Advisory Group (MAG), an organization of large U.S. retailers, said his group sees EMV as being inevitable. “If I’m that retailer, I know at some point in the future I have to invest to be EMV capable. I see that as a foregone conclusion. To move that up in my timeline, I’d need to know everyone is on board – here’s the timeline, here’s the roadmap, here’s where you are going and here’s the date.”
Robert Carr, CEO of Heartland Payments Systems, also spoke at the conference and while fully supportive of EMV as the ultimate end point, he argued that the industry can’t get there fast enough, pointing out that Canada’s ‘fast’ EMV implementation took eight years.
Carr has worked toward the goal of making Heartland the most secure payment processor in the world, and has moved toward end-to-end encryption because it is a solution that his company could get to market quickly and unilaterally, though they have tried to make it a standard.