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MasterCard, Visa to License US Debit Solutions to One Another

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MasterCard (NYSE: MA) and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) announced today an agreement to license their respective common U.S. debit solutions to each other to meet the industry need for a streamlined approach to route U.S. chip debit transactions over multiple, unaffiliated networks.

Visa and MasterCard have made certain proprietary EMV chip technologies available to each other and other networks, enabling a debit chip transaction originating from a single chip application to be routed by the merchant to Visa, MasterCard or any other U.S. PIN debit network that elects to participate in these same solutions.

"This represents our continued commitment to advance the adoption of the most advanced payment solutions and security standards in order to deliver maximum value to merchants, consumers and issuers," said Chris McWilton, president, North America, MasterCard. "By providing every U.S. debit network with an efficient, market-ready answer, we are delivering a proven solution that not only preserves merchant routing choice, but ensures seamless interoperability with all other EMV programs across the globe."

In opening their investments and technologies to the industry, the two brands will further accelerate the U.S. market to a more secure chip-enabled marketplace.

"This approach offers issuers, acquirers and merchants a streamlined solution for debit chip card routing, helps ensure a cost-effective migration, and enables even broader adoption of secure, convenient chip debit programs in the United States," said Elizabeth Buse, Global Executive, Solutions, Visa Inc. "Importantly, this solution allows merchants and acquirers to deploy payment terminals using existing chip technologies that are already widely integrated into existing chip card acceptance solutions."

Issuers will be able to load their global brand's application onto their cards – either Visa or MasterCard – and flexibly enable transactions to route over any participating PIN debit network within the US. This approach is consistent with the EMV Migration Forum's recommendations resulting from the aligned merchant and issuing communities' needs for a single common debit application identifier (AID) and single application on each card. The solutions offered by Visa and MasterCard will significantly reduce the complexities of the U.S. EMV implementation.

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