GlobalPlatform's value proposition for EMV migration in the US
GlobalPlatform recently spoke with representatives from member companies
Giesecke & Devrient, UL Transaction Security and Visa Inc. about the transition to EMV®
chip payment technology in the United States (US). In this Industry Interview, they share
their thoughts about key decisions facing stakeholders and GlobalPlatform’s value
proposition for the EMV migration.
To set context around GlobalPlatform and EMV, it is important to note that
GlobalPlatform is a ‘platform’ that is leveraged by many sectors (such as financial) and
for many types of applications and functions, including payments. The EMVCo card
personalization process (basic perso) is based on GlobalPlatform and the development
environment (Java) is well understood in the industry.
GlobalPlatform Specifications are also relevant to EMV in a number of ways. They
can be utilized in EMV chip payment cards, EMV wallet applications in a mobile device
and also as part of the acceptance infrastructure as we are seeing in the mobile point of
sale (mPOS) area, for example.
As we can see, GlobalPlatform is relevant to many stakeholders. This interview,
however, will focus on the impact of EMV migration on the ‘issuer’ community.
Question: There has been much talk in the US about the transition
to EMV chip payments for card and mobile platforms, and the impact the transition will
have on issuers. What are some of the key decisions issuers need to address as they
manage this process?
Answer: There is good news for US issuers transitioning to EMV;
they are not the first to walk down this road. GlobalPlatform is a proven technology that
has been widely deployed and in use for many years. A deployment strategy that utilizes
GlobalPlatform makes the transition to both card and mobile payments easy. In fact, the
EMV Common Personalization standards were developed by GlobalPlatform, meaning a
robust high-security personalization service is already in place for cards and mobile
phones. This is important for issuers as it enables them to go to market with payment as
a mono-app (card) or have the payment app coexist with other applications on a shared
Question: How does GlobalPlatform technology fit in?
Answer: GlobalPlatform has a number of established technical
documents relating to card, device and systems specifications. These work in harmony
to create a secure end-to-end infrastructure that supports the deployment and
management of secure applications, such as payments. The specifications allow issuers
to choose the most suitable Secure Element (SE)
technology for their implementation today, while also ensuring that they can migrate, if
necessary, to a different card or mobile technology in the future without significant
impact to the infrastructure that has already been deployed.
Question: So, GlobalPlatform offers a platform for the chip in the
card and the chip in the mobile phone to support EMV. Can you tell us more about this
Answer: As a cross industry organization, GlobalPlatform defines
the operating system and security framework of the EMV chip, often referred to as the
SE in mobile
applications. Over the years, GlobalPlatform Specifications have evolved significantly
while remaining independent of the functional features of the underlying application (i.e.
the EMV payment application). Broadly, GlobalPlatform defines a process for maintaining
security and managing applications in a multi-tenant environment. This means that
issuers can maintain and control the security of the chip as an issuer / owner or be part
of a multi-ownership environment, when the SE is compliant to the
The advantage offered to issuers by GlobalPlatform is the ability to provision the
same credential to a standard EMV chip card and to a mobile device over the
air. On top of this, a payment application developed, tested and proven for the card form
factor can be used on any other device that aligns with GlobalPlatform Specifications.
This is possible because the same Java Card-based OS is used in GlobalPlatform-
compliant EMV chip cards and in SEs integrated into mobile
Following the success and experience gained through using this framework for over
a decade, the organization continues to standardize new security technologies such as
the Trusted Execution
Environment (TEE). The TEE helps to extend security beyond the chip for much
more feature rich devices, such as smart phones. The TEE is needed as these handsets
allow consumers to interact with their payment credentials through peripheral devices
such as touch screens, keyboards and fingerprint sensors.
Question: Do you think issuers in the US will have any difficulty
using GlobalPlatform for their EMV chip deployments?
Answer: Not at all. On the contrary, many (if not all) EMV
technology companies offer EMV chip cards compliant to GlobalPlatform Specifications
making it the best-known and widely-deployed platform in the payment and mobile
industries. Personalization bureaus, issuers and technology vendors for EMV data
generation, and personalization equipment, all know how to work with it and are very
familiar with its requirements. Issuers can therefore benefit from quick time to market
with less effort required for product development and the EMV configuration process.
GlobalPlatform’s simple, transparent and proven EMV issuance process is widely
embraced globally. It offers assurance that issuing an EMV chip solution on
GlobalPlatform-compliant platforms today will be both robust and ‘future proof.’
Issuers can also reduce long-term costs with GlobalPlatform. It is a given that EMV
technology evolves over time and new products become available on a regular basis
from all technology providers. Having a chip platform that is built on GlobalPlatform
technology allows new EMV cards and devices to be backwards compatible. This
reduces the migration effort and cost allowing issuers to quickly and easily benefit from
the most advanced EMV technology.
Question: There will be issuers that may wish to source from
multiple chip suppliers to mitigate chip supply risks. Can this be done?
Answer: The value of industry standards such as GlobalPlatform
becomes apparent when pursuing a ‘second source’ strategy. Sourcing EMV chips from
multiple chip suppliers may give issuers better control over their supply chain. A second
source strategy allows issuers to distribute card production capacity over multiple
vendors, which reduces dependencies on a single provider. Or, a second supplier can be
a backup in case the primary, preferred supplier cannot deliver. GlobalPlatform
compliant chips are, to a large degree, interchangeable and therefore enable a ‘plug and
play’ experience in EMV data preparation, personalization and key management
Question: Additionally, some issuers are concerned about the
ability to change card suppliers three or four years down the road without significant
impact on their personalization process. Will a change in suppliers necessarily require
modification of the issuer’s personalization process?
Answer: If implemented correctly, GlobalPlatform technology
helps issuers to avoid getting ‘locked in’ with a single chip supplier. For example, if the
systems, data definitions and protocols in a card personalization environment are
GlobalPlatform-compliant, it is fairly straightforward to swap out one component with
another. The chip itself is a good example of a component that can be swapped, even
four years down the line!
Question: There may be some issuers in the US who have an
interest in deploying services to consumers on both card and mobile platforms. What
does GlobalPlatform offer issuers that have this vision?
Answer: GlobalPlatform is the de facto industry standard for SEs
embedded into any form factor, be it cards, mobile phones or wearable devices. This
enables easier development cycles and standardized personalization. The services
facilitated by GlobalPlatform can therefore reside in both cards and mobile devices,
behaving the same in either environment. Furthermore, due to the widespread use of the
GlobalPlatform Specifications, many vendors offer qualified products. This ensures there
are numerous options when ordering card or mobile products.
As GlobalPlatform is a widely deployed and proven technology, it is well placed to
support the transition to EMV chip payments in the US, on card or mobile devices. With
more than 150 GlobalPlatform-qualified products available in the marketplace today,
EMV issuers can choose from a wide range of suppliers. The compliance process
ensures consistency in the performance of applications and provides protection for
issuer’s investments through product interoperability and scalability.
Service providers who wish to learn more about the specifications should consider
taking the Card Specifications Online Training course or attend an instructor-led session
held at various locations throughout the year, or at the client’s location if requested. To
learn more about Card Specifications Training, please visit http://www.globalplatform.org/trainin