Prime Factors Launches EMV Data Prep Solution

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

In a statement released today, Prime Factors has announced the introduction of new EMV data preparation software module for its widely-distributed Bank Card Security System (BCSS). The new solution will facilitate card issuance process for financial institutions by allowing them to perform data preparation for card personalization in-house.

“Issuers can reduce risk dramatically by generating their EMV data preparation files in-house and sending them securely to their card service bureau for production of the personalized cards,” said Dave Tushie, Prime Factors’ product manager for BCSS.

Most issuers house their cardholder management system on legacy mainframes where they prepare data for magnetic stripe card issuance. For EMV issuance, they typically send the cardholder data to a secure personalization bureau which does the data preparation and then produces the card.

The firm indicates that the new software runs on “all major” operating systems, including IBM’s system Z, which is common among many top tier card issuing banks. Issuers using BCSS and the new functionality can use existing card issuance platforms and cardholder management systems, while potentially saving the cost, time, and risk associated with outsourcing EMV data prep.

The new module pulls application data, cardholder data and keys from many sources and creates a file that can be securely sent to a bureau. Any card personalization system, regardless of the IC card and personalization equipment employed, can interpret the file for processing.

“BCSS makes EMV data preparation as familiar and routine as magnetic stripe card issuance is on your legacy systems,” Tushie said. “With BCSS you maintain more control of your card holder data and more importantly – the keys and certificates – by performing EMV data preparation in-house.”

Key management is one of EMV’s biggest challenges, Tushie said. EMV requires the generation and management of many more keys than magnetic stripe issuance, he said, and therefore, the chances of a compromise are significantly higher.

“Keeping the EMV keys secure is essential,” Tushie said. “A compromise can be catastrophic.”

In addition to risk mitigation, issuers who perform their own EMV data preparation benefit from competitive pricing when they select a service bureau. They aren’t locked into one service bureau, and can select their service bureau based on cost and productivity.

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