Visa Talks Up Canadian EMV E-Commerce Trials

Written by Evan Schuman
April 27th, 2011

At Visa’s Global Security Summit in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday (April 27), Visa officials went out of their way to point to an unusual EMV/Contactless trial now going on in Canada.

It’s actually a series of trials—with hundreds of consumers—that started back in September and allows E-Commerce shoppers to literally tap their payment cards on their terminals, a move that not only authenticates the payment but also autofills their screen using information on file with Visa.

The trial starts by giving the consumer a small reader that plugs into the machine’s USB slot, said Thom Hounsell, product manager at SecureKey, the Canadian firm handling the trials with Visa. That reader establishes “a secure channel from the terminal directly to Visa,” SecureCard CEO Greg Wolfond told attendees at the Visa event.

The authentication includes a one-time CVV code, which Wolfond likened to “the beginning of tokenization.”

But it then uses Visa data to auto-populate all of the typical user fields, thereby sparing the shopper. “You don’t have to type in the 100 keystrokes,” Wolfond said. “That’s hard enough on a PC, but it’s quite painful on a mobile” device.

The system also learns from changes shoppers make in the fields and applies those updates both for that customer (such as the addition of an apartment number) and for all customers (such as putting certain types of information in a different field), Hounsell said.

The trial isn’t perfect, he said, conceding that the different approaches to form-filling with various retailers and many operating systems and browsers makes automated form-filling problematic. “The form-filling is a bridging strategy,” Hounsell said, until more sites start using consistent approaches with the same type of structured forms.


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Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

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