EMV (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa) is a standard for secure payment transactions using credit and debit cards. EMV technology utilises an integrated circuit chip embedded in the card to enhance security and authentication, reducing the risk of fraudulent activity.

In this article, we will explore EMV card authentication and how it works.

What is EMV Card Authentication?

EMV card authentication is a process that ensures the card being used for a transaction is genuine and not a counterfeit or stolen card. The authentication process involves communication between the card chip, the point of sale (POS) terminal, and the card issuer’s server. This communication results in a unique code being generated for each transaction, known as the dynamic authentication code (DAC), which is used to verify the card’s authenticity.

How Does EMV Card Authentication Work?

The EMV card authentication process involves several steps, as outlined below:

  1. Chip Authentication: When an EMV card is inserted into a POS terminal, the chip on the card generates a random number called the Application Transaction Counter (ATC). The POS terminal then sends a request to the chip to provide a digital signature to verify the card’s authenticity.
  2. Cardholder Verification: The next step involves verifying the cardholder’s identity through a PIN or signature. The cardholder must enter their PIN or provide a signature on the POS terminal. The POS terminal then sends the encrypted PIN or signature to the card chip for verification.
  3. Terminal Authentication: The POS terminal generates a Terminal Verification Result (TVR) and Terminal Risk Management Data (TRMD) to authenticate itself to the card issuer’s server.
  4. Authorization Request: Once the card’s authenticity is confirmed, the POS terminal sends an authorization request to the card issuer’s server to approve the transaction.
  5. Dynamic Authentication Code (DAC) Generation: The card issuer’s server generates a unique DAC for each transaction and sends it back to the POS terminal.
  6. DAC Verification: The POS terminal verifies the DAC to ensure it matches the one generated by the card issuer’s server. If the DACs match, the transaction is approved. If they do not match, the transaction is declined.

Advantages of EMV Card Authentication

EMV card authentication offers several advantages over traditional magnetic stripe cards, including:

  1. Enhanced Security: The EMV chip provides greater security than magnetic stripe cards, as it is more difficult to counterfeit and copy.
  2. Reduced Fraud: EMV cards reduce the risk of fraud by generating a unique code for each transaction, making it difficult for fraudsters to use stolen card information.
  3. Global Acceptance: EMV cards are widely accepted globally, making them a convenient payment option for travellers.
  4. Contactless Payments: EMV cards can also be used for contactless payments, which are faster and more convenient than traditional payment methods.

EMV Card Authentication and Contactless Payments

EMV card authentication also plays a critical role in contactless payments, which allow cardholders to make payments by simply tapping their card on a POS terminal. Contactless payments use Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to transmit payment information between the card and the POS terminal.

Contactless payments are typically limited to a certain amount, such as $100, to prevent fraud. However, the EMV chip still generates a unique DAC for each transaction, providing an additional layer of security.


EMV card authentication is a vital component of secure payment transactions, providing enhanced security and reducing the risk of fraud. The authentication process involves several steps, including chip authentication, cardholder verification, terminal authentication, authorization request, DAC generation, and DAC verification. EMV card authentication also supports contactless payments, allowing for fast and convenient transactions. Please provide me with more details about the content and the new title you have in mind.

By john.bw

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