Photo Credit: Adele Lipkin / TPS
Bank of Israel

The implementation of the first milestone in the deployment of the EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) smart payment framework in Israel set out by the Governor of the Bank of Israel has recently been concluded, the Bank of Israel announced Tuesday.

Based on data from Automated Banking Services, as of the end of January 2021, smart terminals make up 54 percent of all terminals in Israel, and the number of smart transactions is about 23 percent of all transactions. About 67 percent of the smart transactions are contactless transactions, whether by credit card or by smartphone.


The number of smart terminals and the number of smart transactions is expected to continue to increase in the coming months, with the recent end of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown and the renewal of commercial activity, and in accordance with the next stages of the framework for adopting the standard in 2021, the Bank of Israel estimates.

The Bank of Israel is urging merchants who have not yet completed the switch to EMV to contact their merchant acquirer or hardware supplier and to complete the switch and join the payment revolution in Israel, benefiting from secure and more advanced transactions.

By July 2021, many additional businesses will have joined the advanced payment method, ahead of the next significant milestone on July 31, 2021, when the acquiring of transactions at all businesses, other than exceptional cases, will only be possible via the EMV standard.

At businesses that switched to full EMV, the terminal can be turned to face the customers who can carry out the payment on their own, conveniently, rapidly, and with a range of payment opportunities.

Among the payment possibilities are contactless payment for transactions up to NIS 300, payment by entering a secret code for transactions that exceed NIS 300, payment via digital wallets, payment via wearable means of payment such as smart-watches, or payment via a payment application from domestic and international entities.

Within the framework of the economic plan to deal with the Coronavirus crisis, a plan was launched by the Small and Medium Business Administration at the Ministry of the Economy and Industry and by the Ministry of Finance, to help in the integration of purchasing via the EMV standard. The plan makes it possible to get back up to 80 percent of the cost of implementation.

Bank of Israel Payment and Settlement Systems Department Director Oded Salomy said “The framework that the Bank of Israel is leading to shift payment card activity in Israel to EMV is in line with advanced economies worldwide and makes new and innovative value proposals in Israel possible.”

Supervisor of Banks Yair Avidan said that “In recent years, the Bank of Israel has been leading many steps to promote innovation and competition in the financial market, including in the payments market.

“The market’s switch to the EMV standard is an additional infrastructure step which will enable the various payment service providers in the economy to develop advanced and innovative payment services for the Israeli consumer.”


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