Approval Services oversees the global functional (Level 1 and Level 2) and security testing of contact and contactless chip products supporting Visa payments to ensure compliance to Visa specifications and requirements.
We provide a single point of contact for vendors, test laboratories and Visa personnel to facilitate communication between all stakeholders in the chip product testing and approval process.
Organizations seeking to submit products for testing must first register and obtain the licenses to all applicable Visa chip specifications and software for their products and sign an Approval Services Testing Agreement. Please see the Registration and Licensing page for more information (Note: Visa Ready Program participants should go to the Visa Ready Portal instead for registration and licensing).
Product Testing Overview
Contact and contactless chip products have different testing, requirements, and procedures.
Contact Chip Products
Visa leverages EMVCo’s product testing and approval process for contact-only devices, these devices are required to obtain EMVCo approval for Level 1 (interface module) and Level 2 (application) and do not need to be submitted to Approval Services. All other contact chip related testing is managed by Approval Services.
Contactless Chip Products
Visa leverages EMVCo’s Mobile Product Contactless Level 1 testing and approval process for handsets and mobile accessories and do not need to be submitted to Approval Services unless they contain an embedded secure element. All other contactless chip related testing is managed by Approval Services.
Products submitted to Approval Services must be tested at a Visa-recognized test laboratory. A list of laboratories is published on our Visa Digital Partner Services website.
How it Works
For each product a vendor wishes to have tested, the vendor completes the applicable product questionnaire, identifies which Visa recognized test laboratory(s) will be used, and submits it to Approval Services. The questionnaire will be used to determine whether the product is eligible for testing and the scope of testing required.
Approval Services issues a unique reference number for each product submission and contacts the test laboratory(s) to authorize testing. The vendor and laboratory are responsible for managing any necessary additional agreements and scheduling testing. The services offered by the laboratories on behalf of Visa are limited to testing only, they are not authorized to make a final determination if a Visa approval will be granted.
Once testing is complete the laboratory will send the test results to Approval Services for review and approval.
If a product passes testing Approval Services issues a letter for the product with an expiration date, and the product is added to the applicable list of Visa-approved products. Any product restrictions or specification deviations are noted in the letter.
Upon reaching the approval expiration date, if a product is not eligible to have the approval expiration date extended, the product is removed from the approved products list and is no longer considered a Visa approved product.
Note: Visa’s testing and approval process approves specific chip products, not vendors.
To learn more about Approval Services’ process and procedures please visit our Visa Digital Partner Services website where you will find a library containing our process documents, forms, PGP keys, and announcements, as well as published lists of Visa-approved products, qualified test tools, and recognized test laboratories.
When granted, Visa-approval is granted by Visa to ensure certain security and operational characteristics important to Visa's systems as a whole, but Visa approval does not under any circumstances include any endorsement or warranty regarding the functionality, quality or performance of any particular product or service. Visa does not warrant any products or services provided by third parties. Visa approval does not under any circumstances include or imply any product warranties from Visa, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for purpose, or non-infringement, all of which are expressly disclaimed by Visa.