Senator Durbin Challenges EMVCo’s Representational Balance Regarding Chip Card Standards

by Tim Sloane 0

Jim Daly at Digital Transactions has the scoop and it appears Senator Durbin is challenging EMVCo’s position as standard bearer for the payments industry:

“U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, author of 2010’s controversial Durbin Amendment, wants to know about the inner workings of EMVCo, the chip card standards body owned by the six largest global payment card networks. A statement Thursday from the Illinois Democrat says Durbin is ‘seeking information on whether the deployment of this technology in the United States is adequately preserving competition and protecting consumers.’

Durbin listed 10 questions related to EMVCo itself and the U.S. chip card initiative in a letter addressed to Mike Matan, an American Express executive who is chairman of EMVCo, the standards body owned by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AmEx, China-based UnionPay and Japan-based JCB.

An EMVCo spokesperson did not reply to aDigital Transactions News request for comment.

Thursday’s letter suggests that the big networks have all the power over chip cards. Durbin says EMVCo is managed by a board of managers and an executive committee, “both of which appear to consist entirely of representatives from the six giant networks.” He asks how those managers and committee members are selected.

‘EMVCo does not appear to provide other U.S. stakeholders in the electronic payment system with any meaningful decision-making authority in the development of its specifications or certification processes,’ the letter says. ‘Smaller payment networks and those who accept electronic payments (such as merchants) are relegated to ‘associate’ status in EMVCo, which appears to be purely advisory in nature. Please explain why these stakeholders are unrepresented on EMVCo’s executive committee and board of managers.’ “

Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group

Read the full story here

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