eftpos Payments Australia (ePAL) has begun an EMV debit card pilot with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank as it works towards implementing more EMV technology in 2012.

EMV is a global standard for credit and debit payment cards based on chip card technology.

Bruce Mansfield, managing director of ePAL, said the pilot program with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank represented an important milestone, as ePAL strives to build Australia’s most innovative, secure and cost effective payment system.

“EMV is a priority as it provides the necessary platform for a number of important service enhancements to be introduced over the next five years, including contactless and mobile proximity payments. The rollout of innovative new services will ensure eftpos continues to compete effectively with foreign-owned MasterCard and Visa, now and in the future,” he said.

“The eftpos product innovation journey begins in Bendigo today.  Most importantly, we want our members to be able to give Australian merchants and consumers real choice in payment methods, ensuring competition remains strong in the market.”

As part of its planned migration to EMV, eftpos is collaborating with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank to pilot EMV-compliant chip cards.  New cards have been issued to a group of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank employees for use in participating retail stores in the Bendigo area. 

Local and global suppliers with proven technology credentials that have joined forces with ePAL on the pilot include Gemalto, VeriFone, Thales eSecurity, SPS (Strategic Payments Services) and FIME.  

The pilot is being conducted ahead of the planned national launch in the second half of 2012.