Gemalto NV's consulting services unit has became the first company to join MasterCard Inc.'s M/Chip Accredited Third-Party program to help issuers develop card products that comply with the EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specifications.

MasterCard developed the program to expand its "ability to support customers in different regions," Christian Delporte, the Purchase, N.Y., payments company's head of chip engineering, wrote in an e-mail.

Accredited companies can offer technical support to MasterCard issuers and help them understand the "definition and implementation of" EMV projects, he said. EMV cards have a microchip and require users to enter a PIN to authenticate transactions.

With the MasterCard accreditation, Gemalto can now offer guidance and technical support to both acquirers and issuers. Gemalto announced the move Monday.

"Our interest is to transfer as much knowledge to customers as possible because EMV and contactless technology are a kind of revolution in the payments industry," said Khaled Allab, the director of Gemalto Consulting Services.