The challenges of incorporating Chip&PIN/EMV into a multi-channel platform, and resulting opportunities

By Wolfgang Berner on 14. June 2013 in Market Insights, Open Payment Technology

After 12 months of being in Chip&PIN/EMV mPOS, we would like to reflect on the technical integration of Chip&PIN into our multi-channel platform, and how it further enhanced our platform capabilities. Looking back, it was a challenging task to enable the platform for card-present transactions. In a recent blog, Christian laid out all the related security and compliance challenges we mastered. Despite all the experience we have in the much regulated area of PCI- processing card-not-present on all relevant protocols with strong card-present background like e.g. the Swiss EP/2, ISO 8583, France’s CB2A, UK’s APACS, Germany’s GICC, KAAI, Base24- it still took time and effort to fully incorporate card-present-processing capabilities.


For the EMV adaptation/Chip & PIN processing, we invested and set up additional infrastructure like Hardware Security Modules (HSMs), and added new functionalities and processes to our multi-channel platform. We enabled end-to-end support for magnetic stripe and chip data and, of course, related reporting and analysis functionality – all onto one single multi-channel platform: PaySourcing. We enriched the platform with complexities of device key management, key exchange with acquirers and device remote key injection required by EMV processing. Finally, the card-present functionality also introduced terminal management and configuration to manage and set up floor limits of all the devices out in the field. In essence, we built the complete card-presence infrastructure just like the ones network service providers offer to allow clients the greatest flexibility in choosing devices or acquirers – all of that embedded for a multi-channel setup.


Now, what opportunities does that create for market players? I have selected three main target groups:

1) For (Mobile) Merchant Service Providers:
It provides a great head start for anyone building innovative solutions around mobile-point-of-sale (mPOS). We take away all their payment-related headaches, allowing them to focus on their core business like order management or cashier solutions. By relying on our white-label setup, their time to market is much faster, and merchant and consumer issues regarding payments are handled in a secure, compliant and scalable manner.

2) For Acquirers:
Many banks spend a considerable amount on IT resources boarding payment service providers/independent sales organizations and MSPs. This is further intensified by the mPOS movement where the bank is faced with long boarding cycle times. Now, having a partner that is an integration expert in connecting payment providers, allows acquirers to hand-off and channel boarding to us, thereby dramatically reducing the effort and boarding times.

3) Classic PSP/ISO:
Consumers shop more and more multi-channel from smartphones, tablets and desktops to brick and mortar stores. They even switch channels during purchases: starting the purchase on a mobile device and finishing on a desktop application making it a necessity for merchants to follow their customers. Only a true multi-channel platform with common reporting, risk management and business intelligence allows them to consolidate and bring all that together for their merchants.

Having successfully integrated EMV/CHIP&PIN into our payment platform and with the diverse range of payment solutions we provide to our clients, we offer a true multichannel platform enabling clients to serve eCommerce, mCommerce, mPOS together with a variety of usage opportunities.

Wolfgang Berner

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