By now, most of the ATM industry is well-versed in at least the rough outline and deadlines of the roadmaps to EMV compliance as set out by Visa, MasterCard and, more recently, American Express — even if no one is exactly sure how they will play out.
Since the introduction of the card association roadmaps, a lot of thinking and conversation has gone on around the external aspects of EMV — when deadlines occur, who they will affect and how, what it will cost to upgrade every card-accepting device in the nation, why the ATM industry should or should not get on board with EMV.
What has received much less attention is the actual technology behind EMV; how it works, what happens to transaction data between the time a smart card is inserted into a reader and the time the receipt is printed.
To help explain the nuts and bolts of EMV transactions and what makes them dramatically different from the standard magnetic stripe transactions that have been the norm for decades, Paragon Application Systems has produced a pair of video presentations.
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The first offers a macro view of the EMV transaction process as contrasted with the process for mag stripe cards. The second takes a much closer look at the cryptographic data-handling that's made possible by the smart chip — the feature that gives EMV its superior capabilities for validating and protecting the data involved in the transaction. Together, they offer a comprehensive overview of the technology that powers EMV.
Comparing a magnetic stripe transaction with an EMV transaction:
ARQC and ARPC generation and validation:
For more on this topic, visit the EMV research center.