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EMV Cardholder Verification Methods

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BFC’s Virtual Terminal solutions allow the merchant to determine which Cardholder Verification Methods (CVM) to support. It is possible to turn off some of these CVM options and when the terminal and the chip negotiate, both need to find at least one option before the transaction can proceed. If the chip only supports A and B but the terminal is configured to only support C and D, the terminal will report a decline and the transaction will not proceed.

To determine which options you want to support, login to the Virtual Terminal solution and navigate to the Terminal Configuration page. Expand the EMV Options section and turn on/off the options. By default, all options are considered “On.”

More Information – CVM options

  • Plain Text PIN refers to the PIN being asked on the terminal and processed at the CHIP before moving the transaction forward. If this is turned off, the option for the terminal and chip to verify the cardholder by PIN is not an option.
  • Online PIN accepted: Only for Debit transaction processing, the terminal must have a key injected before the chip can provide the PIN to the software and then submitted to the processor. The Key Injected in the terminal is Processor-specific and is done via a terminal distribution company. For merchants, you will need to have Debit Card processing enabled to support this feature. If you do not have Debit Card processing, please turn this option to “off” and change the option to run transactions as “Credit Only.” Otherwise, the BFC system will determine which network to process the transaction on based on the AID (Application Interface) code from the chip.
  • Signature is acceptable: this tells the chip that the merchant can and will verify the card holder by comparing the signature on the back of the card and the person signing the receipt. Visa, MasterCard an Discover have removed signature as a method to fight any chargebacks.
  • No Cardholder Verification: This option tells the chip that the merchant is OK without requiring the card holder to use the PIN or provide a signature. This option would be best if just having the physical card is OK with the merchant for processing the transaction.

Transaction Dollar Amount to start asking for CVM: this is the dollar amount where terminal and the card will trigger the CVM options to process, otherwise “No CVM” will be used. For example, with $5.00, it means that any transaction amount less than $5.00 will not ask for a signature and will not ask for PIN number. This can speed up transaction processing if there is a high volume of customer traffic.


PreTap refers to the ability of the terminal to accept the card details before the final amount is known. This allows the cardholder to tap the card before the final amount is known and may speed up the checkout process to reduce waiting time for the customer.