PIN Debit Networks Launch Debit Network Alliance to Foster EMV

Dec. 12, 2013

Ten of the largest PIN debit networks in the U.S. yesterday announced they have formed a company that will work toward implementing security standards around the introduction of the EMV standard in the U.S. The Debit Network Alliance is a joint effort between the AFFN, ATH, CO-OP Financial Services, Jeanie, NETS, NYCE, Presto!, PULSE, SHAZAM, and STAR PIN debit networks, which have worked together on the issue as part of a working group assembled in early 2012 by the Secure Remote Payment Council. The Debit Network Alliance more formally organizes the collaboration between the groups that have been seeking answers to thorny issues like the establishment of a common AID for EMV transactions.

“This is a formalization of the former alliance where each network contributes expertise and ability to move EMV forward under a common structure that allows competition and innovation and choice to both issuers and merchants,” Terry Dooley, senior vice president and CIO of the SHAZAM Network, told “It’s not an organization to develop intellectual property or to develop new things in the marketplace. It’s structured to ask how do we deploy EMV in the U. S. and maintain the interoperability and portability that exist today.”

The SRPc working group had been trying to come to an agreement with MasterCard and Visa on the common AID issue, which would address conflicting mandates in the card networks’ EMV road maps and federal regulations established under the Durbin Amendment. Dooley said that work will continue, along with trying to establish common standards on other issues around EMV as well.

“There are a lot of feature rich programs that have to coexist with this new technology,” Dooley said. “How that new technology is implemented is where DNA comes in. The value of all the networks participating is we can agree to that common governance and the industry can develop at one time and get it pushed out more rapidly than we would working in silos.”

While Dooley said the company won’t develop new intellectual property, setting standards around implementing EMV in the U.S. will entail using established IP in a common way. The DNA was established, in part, to smooth this process, according to the new company’s executive director, Paul Tomasofsky.

“As an LLC it will be able to efficiently provide a structure for license agreements, intellectual property ownership and other business-related functions,” Tomasofsky said. “The bulk of funding for the company is provided by network owners based on an agreed construct. Debit networks have their choice of ownership options with rights and obligations governed under an operating agreement. The Debit Network Alliance is ready to work with all payment networks to define business terms, technical requirements and legal agreements required for industry stakeholders to realize the benefits of a single, common AID. Once these are in place, the industry can truly move forward with EMV in the U.S.”