Facilitating Adoption of PINless Debit Payments


The U.S. Payments Forum, in collaboration with The Forum’s Debit Routing and Petroleum Working Committees, is aiming to simplify the implementation process of PINless debit transactions. In a recently published whitepaper, The Forum hopes to facilitate its adoption among acquiring processors, payment networks, as well as other technology providers.

How PINless Debit Transactions Work

PINless debit transactions can be processed faster than PIN-based debit transactions, which can help merchants reduce friction and lower transaction time for consumers during the checkout experience. In PINless transactions, the customer is not required to input their PIN, thus speeding up the transaction time and increasing security by keeping the PIN unexposed. By and large, the push for PINless transactions is to enhance the overall payment experience for the customer.

Based on findings from the U.S. Payment Forum, retailers that handle smaller transaction amounts and quick service restaurants have been early adopters of this technology. However, sectors such as hospitality and petroleum have seen limited adoption due to their use of dual-message technology. This involves pre-authorization which is then followed by the completion of the transaction. This makes sense; restaurants do not know how much their customers will tip when running a card for initial authorization and gas stations do not know how much fuel customers will purchase until after the authorization.

The Forum’s aim behind the whitepaper’s is to provide a resource to improve the implementation method throughout the payment environment. It does so by pinpointing examples of transaction flows for EMV PINless processing, describing principal terminology that are key to the payment process, and outlining further considerations for implementation.

 “The push for PINless debit payments is moving full steam ahead,” said Sophia Gonzalez, Research Analyst for Debit Advisory Service with Mercator Advisory Group. “The clarification of the Durbin Amendment Regulation II is set to become effective July 1, 2023 and will require merchants to adopt PINless routing for CNP debit transactions. PINless networks will see an influx of transactions, and thankfully right on time to utilize the newly simplified implementation process provided by the U.S. Payments Forum and the Forum’s Debit Routing and Petroleum Working Committees.”


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