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EMV® General Bulletin No.

49
First Edition December 2017

New Structure for EMV Contact and Contactless Specifications


This General Bulletin outlines the new structure for the EMV contact and contactless chip
specifications.

Applicability

This Bulletin applies to:

• EMV® Integrated Circuit Card Specifications for Payment Systems


• EMV® Contactless Specifications for Payment Systems

Related Documents

• EMV Level 1 Specifications for Payment Systems [publication pending]

Effective Date

• When the next versions of contact and contactless EMV specifications published.

Description

The EMV contact chip specifications (EMV® Integrated Circuit Card Specifications for Payment
Systems, Books 1 to 4) comprise both protocol layer (referred to as Level 1) and application layer
(referred to as Level 2) definitions.

Books 2 to 4 contain only Level 2 topics: Security and Key Management, Application Specification,
and Cardholder, Attendant, and Acquirer Interface Requirements. However, Book 1 contains both
Level 1 requirements (Electromechanical Characteristics, Logical Interface, and Transmission
Protocols) and Level 2 requirements (Files, Commands, and Application Selection).

The situation is different for the EMV contactless specifications where Book D is reserved for the
Level 1 requirements and the other books for Level 2 requirements.

The clear separation of the two levels in different books presents several advantages:
• Developers can easily identify the two levels
• Type Approval services can easily identify the two levels (Level 1 Type Approval and Level 2
Type Approval)
• Maintenance of the books is easier and EMVCo can assign books to different working groups
with different skills (the Level 1 Working Group (L1WG) and the Level 2 Working Group
(L2WG) maintain the Level 1 and Level 2 specifications respectively).

When the first version of the EMV contact chip specifications was published around two decades ago,
the bundling of Level 1 and Level 2 into the same set of books was the right approach to take as it
was the only specification EMVCo was responsible for. When the EMV contactless specifications
were launched (EMV Contactless Specifications for Payment Systems, Books A to D), it was decided
that a dedicated volume, Book D, would contain the contactless Level 1 requirements.

© 2017 EMVCo, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction, distribution and other use of this document is permitted only pursuant
to the applicable agreement between the user and EMVCo found at www.emvco.com. EMV® is a registered trademark or
trademark of EMVCo, LLC in the United States and other countries.

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EMVCo continues to evolve both EMV contact and contactless specifications. The L1WG and L2WG
work independently of each other, and the evolution of each of the specifications are not necessarily
linked. For example, L1WG may propose changes that would lead to a new version of the EMV
contactless specifications, even if L2WG has no Level 2 updates.

In order to increase the flexibility of each working group, and mindful that the audience for the Level 1
and Level 2 specifications are usually not the same, EMVCo has decided to decouple the Level 1 and
Level 2 specifications, facilitating the release of new versions of the specifications. The Level 1
specifications will now be named EMV Level 1 Specifications for Payment Systems and will initially
consist of two volumes – one for contact chip (based on the EMV Integrated Circuit Card
Specifications for Payment Systems, Book 1) with the title EMV Contact Interface Specifications and
one for contactless (based on the EMV Contactless Specifications for Payment Systems, Book D)
with the title EMV Contactless Interface Specifications:

Current Structure New Structure


EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specifications for EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specifications for
Payment Systems v4.3: Payment Systems v4.4:
• Book 1: • Book 1:
o Electromechanical Characteristics, o Files, Commands, and Application
Logical Interface, and Transmission Selection
Protocols • Books 2 to 4 (Unchanged)
o Files, Commands, and Application
Selection
• Books 2 to 4
EMV Contactless Specifications for Payment EMV Contactless Specifications for Payment
Systems v2.6: Systems v2.7:
• Books A, B, and C-X • Books A, B, and C-X
• Book D
EMV Level 1 Specifications for Payment
Systems:
• EMV Contact Interface Specifications
v1.0
• EMV Contactless Interface
Specifications v3.0

Publication of the specifications:


The draft version of the EMV Contactless Interface Specifications v3.0 has already been published,
whilst the EMV Contact Interface Specifications will be released when the EMV Integrated Circuit
Card Specifications for Payment Systems v4.4 is published.

© 2017 EMVCo, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction, distribution and other use of this document is permitted only pursuant
to the applicable agreement between the user and EMVCo found at www.emvco.com. EMV® is a registered trademark or
trademark of EMVCo, LLC in the United States and other countries.

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