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Week 10, 2012

The secure transactions industry, essentially Europe-born, has been pushing for over two decades to see its secure solutions adopted in the North American markets. Every year there has been positive news, but so far, we have not yet succeeded in making smart cards, or more globally secure transactions technologies widely adopted in North America.

Finally, results are coming now: almost all US mobile handsets contain a SIM card, EMV adoption is decided, and NFC is happening in the US. The industry is ready to go along with these dramatic market changes as EMV migration in the US is a major center of attraction. EMV has been adopted for long in Europe, in Mexico and South America, as well as in Canada. Experts from multiple companies from all these places are ready to come and support this evolution in the number one payment market, as the US account for around 40% of the world payments.

There is still a long way to go to make new payment processes understood and adopted by American consumers. In a week in the US, almost all transactions I’ve seen and done were made with magstripe plus handwritten signature. The only exception was a transaction on Square, which can definitely not be taken as an example of the security our industry is supporting.

So, shall we be able to bridge the Atlantic Ocean, or to cross the Isthmus of Panama and bring secure payment transactions to the US? There is still some ground to cover, but we have all green lights in front of us.

Thierry Spanjaard

Chief Editor

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