Payment industry overview

EMVCo is the certification body governing the payment industry. Their members include the leading credit card and payment companies, such as Mastercard, Visa, China Unionpay, American Express. In order to allow a global interoperability in payment, EMVCo has defined a set of specifications (both a system description and test specifications). They administrate a network of test laboratories. These laboratories are authorized to perform type approval sessions on:

  • payment terminals
  • payment cards
  • NFC-enabled mobiles phones
  • wearable devices

EMVCo has organized their test specifications in several layers (called “levels”). NI is an active participant in Level 1. It means physical interface and protocol testing. We supply test hardware and automated software to a wide range of customers. It allows them to perform debugging and type approval sessions.

With these hardware and software solutions for NFC and EMVCo test, we are able to accompany our customers. This support intervenes from the initial design of products all the way through the manufacturing stage. We provide our customers with innovative and convenient solutions. They are appropriate for every stage of the design process.

Type approval and debugging

Contactless payment technology

For contactless payment technologies, NI is able to propose certified and automated EMVCo L1 test solutions. They are based on the Contactless Test Station (CTS) and the MP500 TCL3.

These hardware solutions are accompanied by automated software test suites, all qualified by EMVCo. These solutions have been widely adopted by EMVCo accredited test laboratories. They perform type approval and debug sessions for their customers.
All EMVCo L1 test suites are available:

  • EMVCo Contactless L1 PICC Analog: This test suite checks the compliance of contactless smartcards and NFC handsets with EMVCo analog requirements (load modulation amplitude (LMA) measurement, frame delay time (FDT) measurement, card responsiveness, loading effect …).
  • EMVCo Contactless L1 PICC Digital: This test suite verifies that a contactless smartcard, a wearable wristband, or a NFC-enabled mobile phone are in compliance with EMVCo digital  requirements (timing, block retransmission, CRC errors, …).
  • EMVCo Contactless L1 Phase 2 Mobile Performance: This test suite computes statistics on the ability of a NFC phone to perform an EMVCo transaction within an acceptable amount of time.
  • EMVCo Contactless L1 PCD Analog: This test suite ensures that a contactless terminal (POS) is compliant with EMVCo requirements in terms of analog signal handling—field strength measurement, carrier frequency measurement, PCD waveshape measurement (PCD to PICC), PCD sensitivity assessment (PICC to PCD).
  • EMVCo Contactless L1 PCD Digital: This test suite verifies that a contactless terminal (PCD) is in compliance with EMVCo digital requirements (timing, block retransmission, CRC errors, …).

Contact payment technology

Contact payment technology
is also supported by NI. You have the choice of the Star 3150, MP300 TC3 or MP300 SC2 hardware, depending on your specific testing requirements. A full range of turnkey solutions ( hardware + software) is also available. They test both the reader (IFM) and the chip card. Those solutions include:

  • EMVCo Contact L1 Card Electrical: This tool checks the compliance of a contact payment card with the electrical requirements from EMVCo (chip consumption, shape of the smartcard signals, reaction to different voltages levels).
  • EMVCo Contact L1 Card Protocol: This tool performs all the EMVCo defined test scenarios in order to ensure the contact smartcard behaves according to EMVCo requirements. Tests include PPS management, CRC error injection, timing test (WWT, BWT, CWT, …).
  • EMVCo Contact L1 Terminal Protocol: Similar to the EMVCo Contact L1 Card Protocol, for contact payment cards, except this tool tests payment terminals by simulating a contact card.

For manufacturing

Contactless Smartcards

EMVCo does not define any requirements for the production of contactless smartcards. But the different standards may require card manufacturers to comply to a certain number of criteria. The initiative of Mastercard through their CQM process (Card Quality Management) is particularly worthy of being mentioned. It aims to set a standard on the quality of the contactless smartcards that will be put in the consumer’s wallets.

Mastercard CQM tests can be performed using the MP300 CL3, as this tester is able to perform:

  • reading distance simulation
  • resonance frequency
  • Q factor measurements

NFC-enabled mobile phones

Testing NFC-enabled mobile phones in a manufacturing environment does not have any specific rules defined by EMVCo. Even though a primary function of NFC in a mobile phone is to perform mobile payment.  NI offers test equipment for performing thorough testing in manufacturing. All while keeping the price per test head low, and the throughput high.

For manufacturing test, we recommend the MP500 PT1-NFC, which allows you to perform tests such as the load modulation amplitude (LMA), loading effect, and frame delay time (FDT) measurements in a fast, automated manner. Proven within industrial test runs, the MP500 PT1-NFC has demonstrated 3x faster test times when compared to the competition for identical test plans.

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