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If you have questions about Visa chip cards, you've come to the right place. See below for answers to commonly asked questions about Visa acquirers and POS partners U.S. chip migration.

Why is Visa migrating to chip in the U.S.?

This is an important step forward for all stakeholders in the payment system, as we encourage dual-contact and contactless technology to future-proof investments that support dynamic authentication, as well as new payment innovations and enhanced international acceptance. There are no merchant mandates to support EMV* chip processing. However, we are offering tangible benefits to merchants who update their point-of-sale (POS) infrastructure to accept contact and contactless chip payments. By incenting merchant investments in dual interface terminals, we hope to encourage the adoption of mobile payments, as well as improve international acceptance and enhance security through dynamic authentication. As mobile payments and other chip-based emerging technologies are poised to take off in the coming years, we are taking steps today to create a commercial framework that will support growth opportunities and create value for all participants in the payment chain.

Because we anticipate the need to shift to dynamic authentication in the long term and want to create an acceptance infrastructure to support emerging payment innovations, Visa mandated that acquirer processors and sub-processors ensure their systems support merchant EMV chip acceptance back in April 2013. By April 1, 2013, these entities were required to carry and process the additional data that is included in EMV chip transactions, including the cryptographic message that makes each transaction unique. Next steps for the EMV chip migration focus on merchant terminal upgrades and readiness.

*Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV)

Is Visa mandating PIN implementation along with chip?

No. Visa continues to support a range of Cardholder Verification Methods (CVMs) including signature, PIN, and no-signature for low-value, low-risk transactions. Visa will maintain interoperability across those methods with technical standards, business rules, and compliance programs.

What is meant by the term "dual-interface" terminal?

Dual-interface refers to the ability of the terminal to accept both contact and contactless chip cards or payment devices such as mobile phones. Dual-interface terminals are able to process transactions from various payment products including chip contact cards, contactless cards, mobile devices and magnetic-stripe cards.

What is the Technology Innovation Program (TIP)?

TIP offers merchants who update their POS infrastructure a waiver from the requirement to complete an annual Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) validation assessment. The elimination of this requirement could represent a significant cost reduction for participating merchants. This program benefits qualifying U.S. merchants who process at least 75 percent of their transactions using fully enabled dual-interface (contact/contactless) EMV chip terminals. While they still need to be compliant with the PCI DSS, qualifying merchants will not have to go through the process of validating compliance.