Skip to Content

Approval Services


This section contains information about Visa's testing and approval processes for chip cards, acceptance devices, and mobile/tokenized chip products.

To access Visa's confidential and proprietary testing materials, your company must first sign and return the applicable Visa Approval Services Testing Agreement. Please contact Approval Services to initiate the testing agreement process, if you do not already have an active testing agreement or with any questions you may have.

Note: Your company must also have licenses to all relevant Visa specifications for the products you wish to test. Please see the Registration and Licensing section for more information.

Testing and Approvals

Contact and contactless chip products have different testing and approvals requirements and procedures.

Contact Chip Products

Visa recognizes EMVCo’s type approval processes for contact chip acceptance devices. Contact-only devices are required to obtain EMVCo approval for EMV Level 1 (interface module) and EMV Level 2 (application).

All other contact chip related testing is managed by Approval Services.

Contactless Chip Products

Managed by Approval Services, Visa's testing and approval process requires products developed to Visa specifications and requirements to be submitted for Visa approval or certification.

Submitted products must be tested at a Visa-recognized laboratory. Visa Approval Services provides a single point of contact for vendors, laboratories and Visa personnel for the testing process.

How it Works

Visa oversees testing of chip cards, contactless chip cards, acceptance devices and mobile products that support Visa contactless payments, which allows Visa to ensure that products are developed to Visa specifications and support Visa applications.

After the specification license agreements have been executed and before the testing can begin, the vendor completes a Visa Approval Services Testing Agreement.

For each product that a vendor wishes to have tested, the vendor must submit the applicable online questionnaire and select a Visa-recognized test laboratory. Visa uses the questionnaire to determine whether the product is eligible for testing.

Once Visa has determined that the product is eligible for testing, the vendor and laboratory are responsible for scheduling the testing. Visa does not take part in and is not responsible for any scheduling between test laboratories and vendors. Vendors seeking testing services must obtain the necessary agreements and documentation from the Visa-recognized laboratory that they have selected to perform the testing.

The services offered by the laboratories on behalf of Visa are limited to testing only. Laboratories are not authorized to make a final determination if an approval will be granted.

Upon approval, Visa issues a Letter of Approval for cards and devices or a Compliance Letter for mobile products. Your product is added to the applicable Visa list of approved products. Any restrictions or specification deviations are noted in the approval letter.

Note: Visa's testing and approval process approves specific products, not vendors.

For more information, including testing and approval requirements, procedures, testing questionnaires, test laboratory lists, security, etc., please see the Testing Materials page. For a list of laboratories performing contact (Level 1 and Level 2) and EMVCo Contactless Level 1 (analog and digital) testing, please refer to the EMVCo website.

Renewal of Approved Products

The lists of chip products approved by Visa and authorized to be listed by the company are updated monthly and listed on the Testing Materials page.

When a chip card, acceptance device or mobile product is approved by Visa, it is assigned a renewal date that appears on the Letter of Approval or Compliance Letter issued to the vendor and on the relevant Visa Approved Products List. If a chip product meets Visa's current policies for renewal of its approval, the renewal date may be extended by Visa and the product will continue to appear on the Visa Approved Products List. If the product does not meet Visa's current policies or is not eligible for an extension, the product will be removed from the Visa Approved Products List.

When granted, Visa approval or compliance is granted by Visa to ensure certain security and operational characteristics important to Visa's systems as a whole, but Visa approval or compliance 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.