I have been providing EMV training since EMV's inception in the late 1990’s. One of the things that has always been a problem is getting inside what EMV really is; what the settings are, how you use them and how you assess problems and fix them.
Back in 1998, the guys from GemPlus came up with the GemBanking product - an application known to many of us working with EMV. It had an EMV transaction flow-chart for break-point settings, allowing each EMV step to be diagnosed in detail. A built-in TLV parser then translated all these bit flags into human-readable form. Data trees for terminal, card, transaction and issuer gave another good overview of the actual processing values. Being able to set and unset all transaction values, such as TVR and TSI, is vital to gaining a comprehensive understanding of their functionality.
This product ceased to be offered in 2003 and this left us without any available option for presenting EMV in a simple and clear manner. The ensuing lack of EMV knowledge and understanding has led to an often dramatic increase in the cost of EMV education and training. While it is understood that many people in our industry do not need a deep knowledge of EMV, they still need to know enough to be able recognize simple problems, as those are always the most prevalent. It is also understood that we need to have people with deeper EMV skills to solve problems and advise the others how not to cause them.
In the Autumn of 2012, one of our clients in South Africa reminded me of the GemBanking story and it was almost like a light bulb coming on. After sharing my experience with our development team, we quickly came up with an idea for a product of our own called BP-SeeEMV, which would enable users to visualize and thereby understand an EMV transaction flow.
BP-SeeEMV is the tool I wish I had over the last 16 years of EMV training and problem solving to make life easier for myself and for the people I was training. Also, after listening to senior MasterCard management at their Vienna vendor conference last month, it is clear that they (together with VISA) are pushing all the buttons to mandate an end to magnetic-stripe transactions in the U.S. market. BP-SeeEMV is the cost effective tool to educate and train the army of EMV experts needed for this massive roll-out.
EFTlab's team has invested their best effort to make BP-SeeEMV a modern, multi-platform application. There are also further development plans which will take this product beyond simple EMV. A second development phase has already begun and will include an NFC flow-chart for today's booming mobile payments industry.
EFTlab's BP-SeeEMV tool will raise the level of EMV knowledge and help get our industry out of the ‘black box’ approach we have lived with for so long. By making EMV more open and understandable, BP-SeeEMV will make it more cost effective to support EMV in the workplace and in the payments market.