One of the biggest changes the payments industry has seen in the last decade has been the introduction of Integrated Circuit Cards (ICC) or more colloquially 'Chip & PIN' cards. Chip & PIN was introduced originally in 1993 by a conglomerate of the major card schemes (Europay, Visa & Mastercard, together known as 'EMV') as a means to combat the rise in fraud associated with traditional magstripe cards.
The reason for this was that it was comparatively easy to clone (or 'skim') older magnetic stripe ('magstripe') cards, using relatively cheap, off-the-shelf components, allowing unscrupulous operators to produce illicit copies of real cards. All that remained was for the thieves to steal a consumer's PIN, whereafter they were then free to use the cloned cards at will.
Chip & PIN cards on the other hand, are considerably more difficult (if not impossible) to 'clone'. While it is true that the public records available on Chip & PIN cards can be easily read, the secret data embedded in the private portion of the chip is almost impossible to access. Because of this, Chip & PIN cards are able to produce cryptographically secure unique card identifiers as well as impossible to forge transaction request cryptograms, both of which identify the card and the transaction as genuine.
Since many payment processors are moving towards mandatory EMV-based solutions, to test their switches correctly, these processors require payment simulators (ATM and POS) capable of emulating Chip & PIN transaction data. Further, because many QA and pre-Prod environments validate incoming transactions using real HSM hardware, in many cases the transaction request cryptograms need to be cryptographically accurate - a process which requires in-depth understanding of the particular cryptogram versions and algorithms used by different card schemes.
Fortunately, both RapidFire ATM XFS as well as RapidFire ATM Sim include Afferent's very own EMV libraries, and are capable of producing either fully compliant EMV as well as pseudo-EMV transactions. This means that these simulators can be used to generate transactions for environments for which magstripe fall back has been disabled, or where Chip & PIN has been enabled.
With the early adoption of Chip & PIN by many countries in the Eurozone, as well as its increasing adoption in the USA to combat fraud, Chip & PIN support is an increasingly important feature for testing software - and one which thankfully, is already fully supported by all Afferent's RapidFire ATM simulators.
For more information about RapidFire ATM XFS or ATM Sim, or any of our other testing software, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, have a look at our other products in the RapidFire test solutions range.