What is EMVCo ?

EMVCo is a technical body that promotes and enhances Europlay Mastercard Visa (EMV) specifications to facilitate worldwide interactions and acceptance of secure payments. Developing and managing the EMV specifications has proved useful in addressing the challenge of global interoperability and the development of secure payments and transaction technologies. 

The approval and adoption of these specifications promote global unified and secure international transaction methods and technologies. The body plays the following roles in relation to EMV specifications;

  • Managing and evolving EMV specifications
  • Performing product testing and certification
  • Enhancement of the payment security
  • Reviewing and supporting emerging payment technologies

However, in the past few years, EMVCo has expanded its scope from solely focusing on EMV specifications to:

  • Evaluation and approval of card and terminal compliance with the EMV specifications
  • Security evaluation
  • Management of interoperability issues

It is essential to understand that this global technical body does not define or issue products, and neither can it enforce compliance and implementation of its specifications.

EMVCo Membership and Industry Engagement

Currently, EMVCo has six members;

  • American Express
  • Discover
  • JCB
  • Mastercard
  • UnionPay
  • Visa

The company encourages the participation of interested parties from all across the payments ecosystem as they have a significant role in grounding the works, efforts, and innovations of this organization. It is, therefore, both possible and important for third parties to participate in certain EMVCo activities. Some of the active participants include;

contactless payment

Bank, merchants, processors, vendors, and other global stakeholders are eligible and encouraged to join the associates program to engage in strategic business and technical operations related to EMV specification and related processes. Various regional and global organizations also receive input and share multiple perspectives based on their areas of interest.

The board of managers consists of individuals appointed from each of the company’s six owners. On the other hand, the board of advisors includes two representatives from each business association, and six from all technical associates are selected to facilitate the development of EMV specifications.

Anyone who joins this company as a subscriber enjoys the privilege of submitting their queries to EMVCO and receives advanced notifications on the development and changes in progress.

How EMVCO collaborates with other international standardization bodies

In order to be more productive and to not reinvented the wheel, EMVCO cooperate with other standardizations bodies

They include:

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

To achieve its aim, the company is required to incorporate globally recognized standards such as ISO, wherever possible.

Payment card Industry Security Standards (PCI)

Since it aims to increase security around card-based transactions, collaboration with PCI facilitates enhancement in payment security and reducing fraud.

The Near Field Communication (NFC) forum

As the company is upgrading EMV payments to contactless and mobile channels, working with NFC will help develop specifications for communication between NFC devices and services


One of EMVCo’s primary goal is to review EMVs payment security. GlobalPlatform is an organization that standardizes the management of applications on secure chip technology. Therefore, the alignment of the two organizations will go a long way in ensuring secure payments.

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