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Wearables - EBA Guidelines for Card Personalisation - Supply Chain Issues - Biometric Payment Cards - Policy and Standards - Trustech - Eco-friendly Cards - SPA November 2021 Newsletter

jacques doucerain






Dear Colleagues,

Today’s fast evolving payment ecosystem means that SPA has again been very active in providing guidance and expertise to industry bodies, regulators and other authorities on new innovations, security issues and, of course, interoperability frameworks and standards.

At the start of the summer, SPA published its Wearable Tech 2021: The Future is Now whitepaper. Providing an updated view of the wearable payments market and the actions that issuers need to take to be ready for tomorrow, the paper has gained widespread interest. It’s a mark of the keen interest in this topic that we have had over 12,000 downloads of our wearables series to date.

The following roundup of key activities and news provides a snapshot of an action packed few months. As ever, SPA is grateful for the participation and contributions of its Members and Associate Members in all the varied works and activities it undertakes.


Payment card supply chain issues

In June, SPA issued a public statement  on behalf of the industry in relation to the ongoing global chip shortage and the potential impact on the production of payment cards. During 2021, card manufacturers again demonstrated operational resilience and minimized card delivery disruption to issuers.
However, a recent SPA pulse survey of its manufacturer members found that while chip shortage issues already impact the supply of EMV-standard based payment cards for the remainder of 2021, the industry anticipates that the worst is yet to come and that production pressures will intensify in 2022. SPA continues to monitor this developing situation and is working to support members who are making every effort to minimize card delivery disruption for customers.


EBA guidelines on outsourcing arrangements

In October, SPA published a detailed analysis paper featuring recommendations for card issuers to help them comply with the European Banking Authority (EBA) guidelines for card personalization activities.
With the aim to avoid unnecessary cost and reduce time and effort to comply, the paper outlines how financial institutions can re-utilise third party evaluations and audits that are already performed to achieve the stringent Payment Card Industry Card Production and Provisioning (PCI CPP) certification to demonstrate compliance with the EBA guidelines on outsourcing arrangements.


Standards update


  • In the last newsletter, we confirmed that the SPA had been elected by the European Cards Stakeholders Group (ECSG) to represent the industry in a joint EPC/ECSG task force to promote the interoperability of card instant payments at the point of sale. SPA is now collaborating with the European Payments Council (EPC)  in the production of specifications to support the deployment of SEPA Mobile Instant Payments. 
  • SPA recently submitted a proposal to the ESCG Innovation Expert Group on how to drive the migration of cards and terminals to elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) mechanisms according to EMVCo specifications. 
  • SPA has also presented the ESCG with a submission that provides a detailed overview of the research and development (R&D) efforts undertaken by SPA members in relation to the implementation of post-quantum cryptography on card technologies. 
  • To complement this R&D effort, SPA members have proposed and lead in ISO SC17 a standardization initiative, the revision of ISO 7816-8,  to enable a seamless transition to post-quantum payment cards and terminals, ensuring the backwards compatibility with existing payment systems. 
  • SPA is now preparing to participate in industry-wide discussions relating to the European Commission’s recently announced plan to deploy a European digital wallet, powered by the eIDAS framework. SPA anticipates this will become a hot topic in 2022 – one that will encompass a wide range of issues including what this means for consumers, banks, and payment service providers in relation to privacy, identity authentication and more. 

On the horizon – what’s happening next?

SPA is pleased to announce that a number of new initiatives are already on the horizon in the coming weeks.

  • Early December, SPA will launch its updated Biometric Payment Cards paper exploring the issues driving demand for biometric card payments. The paper offers a view of how cards manage cardholder enrolment and authentication today – and looks ahead to explore what the future holds. 
  • SPA has been invited to present at this year’s Trustech 2021. Patrice Meilland, SPA Representative, will participate in the Payments in the Digital Era track on 1st December and present the updated paper. 
  • SPA has begun preparing an insights paper on eco-payment cards. With 31 million eco-cards shipped to date in 2021, we’ll explore what defines this next generation of sustainable cards. 
I hope you find this update both helpful and informative and look forward to speaking with you again soon.

Yours sincerely
Jacques Doucerain - President
Smart Payment Association