The EMV specifications, which cover all aspects of processing EMV “Chip and PIN” payments are freely available to download from the EMVCo website. However, EMVCo frequently issue specification bulletins that modify or clarify these requirements, but the published versions of the EMV specification is only updated every few years to include these updates. Some of these bulletins are active immediately, while others are published many months before they will be valid, or are issued in a draft form to allow feedback prior to introducing a potentially controversial change.
Therefore in order to get an accurate picture of the current EMV requirements, to develop an EMV Level 2 Kernel that will be fully EMV compliant and approvable with the latest version of the EMVCo test cases, it is necessary to study all these EMVCo bulletins in addition to the current version of the EMV specification. Even then, it is only a snapshot – in a few weeks the target may have moved again – and so keeping up-to-date becomes an arduous task!
In addition to the specification bulletins, EMVCo also publish bulletins on a number of other topics. The Terminal Type Approval Update bulletins describe changes to the EMVCo test cases required for EMV level 1 approval (which applies to card readers) and EMV Level 2 approval (which is required for all EMV Kernels), as well as related changes to the approval processes and fees charged by EMVCo. Similarly, the Card Type Approval bulletins relate to the approval of EMV-compliant cards. EMVCo also issue general updates and notices that cover EMVCo processes, future roadmaps and migration plans and other major EMVCo announcements.
To avoid the problems of constantly changing requirements and approval processes, many solution providers wishing to support EMV instead opt to license the use of a third party EMV Kernel, such as the CreditCall EMV kernels. Check out www.level2kernel.com for further details of these EMV Level 2 Kernels.