EMV rules are ruining Apple Pay

“The Apple Pay payment experience has been simple and elegant. No network connection needed. No need to find an app, launch an app or log in,” Evan Schuman writes for Computerworld. “Just hold the phone at the end of the transaction, place your finger ever so briefly on the button for a split second, and a comforting ‘Done’ icon says you’re finished. At least that was true until last week, when several major chains made their official EMV move.”

“Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods were among the major retailers that switched on EMV last week, which instantly made the quick Apple Pay experience decidedly less so,” Schuman writes. “Instead of the shopper being done when Apple Pay confirmed all that it needed to confirm (which is pretty much the purchase amount and that your fingerprint matches the one you are supposed to have), a series of new messages pop out on the POS screen.”

“The problem here is that although POS systems know that an NFC transaction is contactless, those systems often do not know much or even anything beyond that. The POS has no idea if a biometric authentication was completed, so it needs to ask for the signature. The POS has no idea whether the shopper was shown an amount — and certainly not whether the shopper really thought about it — so it must show it again and demand a confirmation,” Schuman writes. “The only relevant detail here is that Apple Pay… and other secure NFC payment wallets are going to have their customer experiences seriously degraded because of EMV rules and visibility limits within today’s payments systems.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: SNAFU.


  1. I can’t even open my phone or iPad by a fingerprint. My prints hardly exist. So I guess I’d make a better crook than using a print for ID.
    Maybe I should be a politician??

  2. interesting article…. tells us a bunch except for…. why

    why, in the sense of “follow the money” …so who is it that financially benefits from burdening consumers, and users of apple pay and similar services with these extra – and redundant – steps ?

    1. I think “follow the money” is the credit card companies mitigating their losses from customers that claim no knowledge of the transaction. The article stated those issues albeit not in an obvious fashion. You need to be a merchant that has been stung by the merchant services and rules of visa, et al, to see the whys.

      1. As I understand the ApplePay validation technology, it would seem nearly impossible for an iPhone owner to claim that they did not authorize payment for goods and services, when there is a fingerprint/biometric identifier utilized to validate that the owner of the iPhone/VISA/MC/Other is exactly who has been preregistered and pre-vetted — as said owner.

        Questions to you, hoffbegone — given this security architecture that underlies the ApplePay methodology, how does the merchant get stuck with a improperly authorized ApplePay payment? How can an ApplePay user claim that they did not authorize payment?


    1. This was a possible outcome for using a ‘standard’.. If something changes in it everyone connected gets affected.. Apple now has to create a proprietary version to avoid such problems in the future.. However that in itself may cause other problems, so it is a risk Apple will have to weigh for the future of Apple Pay.

  3. EMV is controlled by the credit card companies, and dictates how the machines that accept ApplePay work. They are simply using their monopolistic powers to try and kill th competition.

  4. What’s EMV?!

    EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, the three companies that originally created the standard. The standard is now managed by EMVCo, a consortium with control split equally among Visa, Mastercard, JCB, American Express, China UnionPay, and Discover.

    NFC = Near Field Communication, what the chips embedded in charge cards do.

    POS = Point of Sale; Or Piece of [excrement], depending upon your experiences with them*.

    The problem here is that although POS systems know that an NFC transaction is contactless, those systems often do not know much or even anything beyond that…

    … Meaning that in this case POS refers to the latter definition.

    ∑ = Here we go again with [excremental] technology screwing up our lives just a little bit more. 😛

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.