Visa Talks Up Canadian EMV E-Commerce Trials

At Visa's Global Security Summit in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday (April 27), Visa officials went out of their way to point to an unusual EMV/Contactless trial now going on in Canada.

It's actually a series of trials—with hundreds of consumers—that started back in September and allows E-Commerce shoppers to literally tap their payment cards on their terminals, a move that not only authenticates the payment but also autofills their screen using information on file with Visa.

The trial starts by giving the consumer a small reader that plugs into the machine's USB slot, said Thom Hounsell, product manager at SecureKey, the Canadian firm handling the trials with Visa. That reader establishes "a secure channel from the terminal directly to Visa," SecureCard CEO Greg Wolfond told attendees at the Visa event.

The authentication includes a one-time CVV code, which Wolfond likened to "the beginning of tokenization."

But it then uses Visa data to auto-populate all of the typical user fields, thereby sparing the shopper. "You don't have to type in the 100 keystrokes," Wolfond said. "That's hard enough on a PC, but it's quite painful on a mobile" device.

The system also learns from changes shoppers make in the fields and applies those updates both for that customer (such as the addition of an apartment number) and for all customers (such as putting certain types of information in a different field), Hounsell said.

The trial isn't perfect, he said, conceding that the different approaches to form-filling with various retailers and many operating systems and browsers makes automated form-filling problematic. "The form-filling is a bridging strategy," Hounsell said, until more sites start using consistent approaches with the same type of structured forms.