A directive from Visa Inc. earlier this month designed to motivate merchants to support the EMV chip card standard for U.S. cards and payment terminals may spark a cottage industry in EMV training seminars and consulting. EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, is a global standard for the inter-operation of computer chips on payment cards.
A group of payments-industry experts have formed the EMV Training Academy, which will support the U.S. and Canadian migrations to EMV chip card technology, according to an Aug. 30 press release.
The Pasadena, Calif.-based enterprise plans to offer "a broad range of EMV training courses, test tools and consultancy services" to banks, credit unions, merchant acquirers, issuers, card manufacturers and others, encompassing contact and contactless payments as well as near-field communication technology (a short-range wireless communication standard that's being tested in several contactless mobile payment trials).
The firm will draw on experience its principals gained beginning 12 years ago when its customers and partners collaborated to "pioneer" EMV technology in Europe, Stewart Chalmers, EMV academy director, said in the release.
Visa's announcement spurred a realization that "our EMV training roadmap and rollout must be accelerated to support the industry's migration," Gregg Smith, academy co-founder, noted in the release.
EMV Academy plans to offer one-day and two-day chip-card training classes and three-day classes covering "EMV, contactless and NFC mobile fundamentals" as well as custom classes for groups, the release states.
Pricing for courses was not immediately available.
At least one other firm, Datacard Group, earlier this year launched a series of seminars to educate U.S. executives about EMV and NFC.
"There are some clear points of convergence between EMV and NFC, especially in the areas of personalization and provisioning, security, and payment-data preparation that are used across digital-payment application carriers," says Guy Berg, a consultant with Minnetonka, Minn.-based Datacard.
Noting "few (U.S.-based) companies or organizations understand the complete lifecycle of an EMV transaction," organizations adopting the technology need to learn about the broad range of implementation and security options available, Berg says.
"In other regions of the world issuers, acquirers and retailers have all experienced problems because they lacked the full understanding about other parts of the EMV transaction and ecosystem," Berg says. "In addition, many have underestimated the need to train internal personnel beyond the implementation teams … to avoid expensive mistakes."
Datacard's schedule and pricing for an upcoming series of seminars and courses was not immediately available.