MAG Sponsor Spotlight: The U.S. Common Debit AID Is Your Best Option

Payments Leader

Posted on December 10, 2015
Article originally posted here
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By Ignacio Blanco,Vice President Network Products

December 8, 2015

The liability shifted on October 1, 2015 and as a merchant, you’re probably in one of the following stages of EMV deployment:

  1. Already enabled for both Credit and Debit, supporting the U.S. Common Debit AID (Application Identifier[1]), as well as the card global debit brand’s International AIDs
  2. Enabled for Credit and the global Debit brands’ International AIDs
  3. Enabled for Credit only
  4. Not enabled for EMV

Independent of which stage you’re in, it is critical to understand how to maintain your routing flexibility and rights, as it relates to Debit transactions in an EMV environment.

Each one of the U.S. Common Debit AID from the global networks supports two Cardholder Verification Methods (CVMs): “Online PIN” and “No CVM”[2].  The agreement between all industry parties in creating and supporting the technology behind the U.S. Common AID was that the U.S. Common Debit AID could be used to perform all transaction types available in the U.S. economy.  This means that transactions performed with an Online PIN, transactions that occur without a PIN or signature, and transactions that are performed with a signature can be done using the U.S. Common Debit AID and routed to any Debit Network that supports the specific transaction type for the card.  This statement generally creates two questions as follows:

  • How do I perform a signature transaction using a “No CVM” option?  As outlined in the U.S. debit solution, the concept is for the POS terminal to utilize the “No CVM” option (available in standard EMV technology), and when the response is routed back to the terminal, that the terminal prompts for signature capture (outside of EMV processing) if the dollar amount exceeds the specific threshold that requires the merchant to secure a signature.
  • Can I still send signature transactions to the global brand networks using this “No CVM” processing?  Absolutely, as part of defining the U.S Common Debit AID, the global brand networks have included in their terminal EMV guidelines that signature transactions can be performed using the U.S. Common Debit AID, “No CVM” option, and the terminal prompts for subsequent signature capture.

We currently recognize that the vast majority of merchants are today only sending transactions without a PIN or signature, or transactions with a signature, to one of the global brands.  The educational value that is trying to be conveyed in this article is that a merchant’s deployment of EMV should now be selecting the U.S. Common Debit AID for all transactions being processed.  This deployment allows the merchant future flexibility to route these transactions to additional networks when those paths are technically available from their processor without needing to re-engineer the EMV deployment at their POS terminals.

To emphasize this point, a few examples are provided with the following assumptions:

  • The U.S. Common Debit AID is present on the card
  • The card participates in one of the global brands for signature transactions (GLOBAL-SIGNATURE)
  • The card participates in the global brand’s PIN debit option (GLOBAL-PIN)
  • The card participates in two domestic debit networks (DOMESTIC-A and DOMESTIC-B)
  • DOMESTIC-A network supports both transactions without PIN or signature, and transactions with signature
  • DOMESTIC-B network only supports PIN debit transactions

Given these assumptions, the following transaction possibilities exist for the merchant:

  • In the situation the consumer’s EMV card is being accepted at a merchant location, the merchant selects the U.S. Common Debit AID and a PIN is being entered by the consumer, the merchant could route the transaction either to GLOBAL-PIN, DOMESTIC-A, or DOMESTIC-B based on the merchant choice, using the U.S. Common Debit AID.
  • In the situation the consumer’s EMV card is being accepted at a merchant location, the merchant selects the U.S. Common Debit AID and neither a PIN nor signature is being entered by the consumer, the merchant could route the transaction either to GLOBAL-SIGNATURE or DOMESTIC-A based on the merchant choice, using the U.S. Common Debit AID.
  • In the situation the consumer’s EMV card is being accepted at a merchant location, the merchant selects the U.S. Common Debit AID and a signature is being entered by the consumer, the merchant could route the transaction either to GLOBAL-SIGNATURE or DOMESTIC-A based on the merchant choice, using the U.S. Common Debit AID.

Finally, we strongly believe is in every merchant’s best interest to make sure their EMV deployment is done in such way that the U.S. Common Debit AID is being selected every time a chip card is inserted/tapped at the POS. This will allow merchants to have the most routing flexibility and to continue exercising their current routing rights.

For questions, please contact nycemerchants@fisglobal.com.


[1] Application Identifier or AID points to the application on the chip of the card. Additionally, this application identifier provides a way for the chip on the card to tell the POS terminal what applications reside on it, and provides the POS terminal a method to identify if it supports an application on a chip.

[2] “No CVM” is one of the different Cardholder Verification Methods that are supported in an EMV environment, and one of the two cardholder verification methods supported by the U.S. Common Debit AID. Merchants can use the “No CVM” option for “swipe & go” transactions (where the consumer does not enter a PIN nor signs for the purchase) or for transactions where a signature from the customer is required.

– See more at: http://www.merchantadvisorygroup.org/stay-informed/mag-insights/2015/12/08/mag-sponsor-spotlight-the-u.s.-common-debit-aid-is-your-best-option-(mag-quarterly–volume-three-issue-four)#sthash.yKwu8Ngs.dpuf

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