EMV Cardholder Verification Methods

Posted on: January 6th, 2010 by level_admin 2 Comments

Although EMV is often referred to as “Chip and PIN”, in fact EMV supports several different methods of verifying the identity of the cardholder, known as Cardholder Verification Methods (CVM). Every card contains a list of the CVM that it supports, and when they need to be applied (e.g. Use online PIN if the transaction is an ATM cash withdrawal, else use signature).

Whenever an EMV transaction is performed, the terminal’s EMV Level 2 Kernel processes the CVM list in order, until it finds a CVM that it supports and can process. In the event that no supported CVM is found or an error occurs during CVM processing (e.g. the PIN-Pad was malfunctioning), the EMV kernel will flag this in the Terminal Verification Results, which may cause the transaction to be declined or sent online for authorisation by the card issuer.

The CVM that EMV currently supports are Online PIN (required in certain countries for all transactions, and also for all ATM cash withdrawals), Offline PIN verified by the chip card (required in certain countries for all payment transactions), signature (for attended payment terminals in some countries), or a combination of both PIN and signature if additional verification is required.

Also, in some environments it is permissible to use no CVM for low-value transactions or for terminals that do not support any of the CVM on the cards.

CreditCall’s EMV Kernels support every EMV-defined CVM, and provide a simple yet powerful way to add EMV level 2 to payment devices. Check out for further details of these EMV Level 2 Kernels.

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2 Responses

  1. […] blogged previously (see EMV Cardholder  Verification Methods) about the different types of cardholder verification that are supported by the EMV specifications […]

  2. Fullstability says:

    What kind of CVM does Izettle use as it is not allowed to enter a PIN using iPhone? Signature only? Does it mean that some transactions could not be performed using izettle (when signature is not allowed by type of card)?