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Choosing Chip Card Profiles for Debit, Prepaid, and Credit

The processes for choosing chip card profiles for Debit and Credit programs are different, due to the implications of the Durbin Amendment on the routing of Debit transactions. Durbin regulations require that debit and prepaid products provide merchants or acquirers the ability to route transactions via either of two unaffiliated networks.

With chip, many of the decisions concerning the processing of the transaction are made between the chip and the terminal before the routing choice is made. These decisions are driven by parameters set in the card and the terminal and are specific to the Application Identifier or AID. MasterCard requires that any transaction initiated using the MasterCard AID be routed to a MasterCard system. In order to support the routing of transactions to an unaffiliated network, MasterCard created the U.S. Maestro AID.

MasterCard Credit and Debit products must use the MasterCard AID on their cards. But to comply with the Durbin Legislation, MasterCard Debit and Prepaid products will also support the U.S. Maestro AID. This is discussed in more detail below.

MasterCard developed the M/Chip Card Personalization U.S. Market Standard Profiles to take advantage of the most common combinations of deployment options. This tool will help determine which profile will support your business needs. If you choose to implement contactless functionality, an additional profile will be needed. All U.S. Market Standard Profiles are compatible with the U.S. Maestro AID.

Credit

All MasterCard Credit products must support the MasterCard AID with one contact profile and, if applicable, one contactless profile.

Debit and Prepaid

Debit and Prepaid MasterCard cards issued in the U.S. must support the MasterCard AID and the U.S. Maestro AID, to comply with the Durbin Legislation.

Since these AIDs are separate, each AID must support one or two profiles (either contact only or contact + contactless) A contact-only card will have two profiles; one for the MasterCard AID and one for the U.S. Maestro AID. A contactless card would have four profiles; two profiles (contact and contactless) for the MasterCard AID and two profiles (contact and contactless) for the U.S. Maestro AID.

Contact Only Contact and Contactless
Credit Card
  • One contact profile
  • The U.S. Maestro AID contact profile
  • One offline CAM enabled contact profile
  • One contactless profile
Debit or Prepaid Card
  • One contact profile
  • The U.S. Maestro AID contact profile
  • One offline CAM enabled MasterCard contact profile
  • One contactless profile
  • The U.S. Maestro AID contact profile
  • The U.S. Maestro AID contactless profile

For the MasterCard AID, there are 14 contact and 7 contact/contactless Standard Profiles available.

For the U.S. Maestro AID, there is only one contact and one contactless profile available.

Application Labels

The Application Label is the name associated with each AID on the card. This data element is mandatory. Each AID will have an Application Label associated with it. One use of an Application Label is as a text field displayed on a terminal. The cardholder can select a payment application on the terminal during a transaction. The Application Label may also appear on the receipt. For the MasterCard AID, an appropriate Application Label would be “Debit MasterCard” or “DEBIT MASTERCARD”.

For the U.S. Maestro AID, the Application Label must be easily understood by the cardholder. “Debit” might be an appropriate label. It is important to remember that transactions from this AID may be routed over alternative networks and may be subject to the rules and pricing of different schemes. The application label must not infer that the resulting transaction is a MasterCard transaction.