EMV Payment Brand Implementation Plans

The four major U.S. EMV payment brands — MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express — have announced specific plans and schedules for EMV implementation across the country.

The payments industry is largely self-regulating, and none of these plans are official legal legislation. Rather, they are policies specific to these payment brands, and they will be implemented and enforced by those companies.


MasterCard aims to use EMV as the keystone technology for a new era of payments. As one of the main EMV companies, it’s pushing for complete integration in the payments ecosystem, which, it argues, will lead to increased security and benefits for both merchants and cardholders.


Visa touts EMV as a “small chip with big benefits,” and its announcements echo excitement over EMV technology’s possibilities. It has an implementation timetable similar to MasterCard and American Express, and similar goals.


Discover wants to provide an open experience for merchants, and has not announced any restrictions for merchants who have not transitioned to EMV standards. Discover also stated that it will support all options for EMV cardholders and merchants.

American Express

American Express has many of the same goals as Visa and MasterCard. It has acknowledged the critical role of the merchant and the financial and time pressure on merchants to comply with EMV guidelines, and it stated that it is interested in streamlining the process for merchants. It cites the benefits of EMV as the impetus for compliance.

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