Cardholder verification methods (CVM) reference

A CVM is a verification method used to confirm a credit card being used in a purchase is in the possession of its owner. 

CVM Lists

The CVM list contains Amount Thresholds and includes three elements per CVM:

  • CVM Code - States what to do when an entry fails, either proceed with the next one or fail the CVM process.
  • CVM Type - the actual CVM to be performed e.g. PIN verification.
  • Condition Code - describes under which conditions the CVM Type is applicable e.g. Always enforce Online PIN for ATM withdrawals.

CVM list live example

The following CVM list is taken from a Mastercard of type "mcredit".

The Amount Thresholds are not used. The first CVM is only used for ATMs and Cashback transactions.

All other CVMs are used if the terminal supports them. For an Adyen terminal, all CVMs are supported and the first available one in the list would be selected – CVM 2 Enciphered PIN verification performed by ICC

   Amount Thresholds

  • Amount X: 0
  • Amount Y: 0

Cardholder Verification Method 1

  • CVM CodeFail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful
  • CVM TypeEnciphered PIN verified online
  • CVM Condition CodeIf cash or cashback (includes quasi-cash)

Cardholder Verification Method 2

  • CVM CodeApply succeeding CVM field if this CVM is unsuccessful
  • CVM TypeEnciphered PIN verification performed by ICC
  • CVM Condition CodeIf terminal supports the CVM

Cardholder Verification Method 3

  • CVM CodeFail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful
  • CVM TypePlaintext PIN verification performed by ICC
  • CVM Condition CodeIf terminal supports the CVM

Cardholder Verification Method 4

  • CVM CodeFail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful
  • CVM TypeEnciphered PIN verified online
  • CVM Condition CodeIf terminal supports the CVM

Cardholder Verification Method 5

  • CVM CodeFail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful
  • CVM TypeSignature (paper)
  • CVM Condition CodeIf terminal supports the CVM

Cardholder Verification Method 6

  • CVM CodeFail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful
  • CVM TypeNo CVM required
  • CVM Condition CodeIf terminal supports the CVM

CVM list test example

Adyen has various TEST cards that allow for testing of a wide variety of scenarios via a single physical card.   This is possible through a combination of a specific CVM list and outcomes based on amounts (see POS test cards)

The full CVM list with details, for the Adyen TEST card provided to you, is best inspected through the Adyen CA. You can perform a transaction with each application on the card and see the CVM list as part of the EMV details. The use of Amount Thresholds is not common for LIVE cards but very useful for testing purposes.

Vary the CVM by Through the amounts the CVM can be varied easily. The last three digits of the amount determine the outcome of the transaction independent of the CVM. As part of the Condition Code the currency has been added.

As an example, the CVM list for one of Adyen's TEST card application has the following elements:

Amount Thresholds

  • Amount X: 10000
  • Amount Y: 20000

Cardholder Verification Method 1

  • CVM Code: Apply succeeding CVM field if this CVM is unsuccessful
  • CVM Type: Enciphered PIN verified online
  • CVM Condition Code: If transaction is in Application Currency Code and is over Y value

Cardholder Verification Method 2

  • CVM Code: Apply succeeding CVM field if this CVM is unsuccessful
  • CVM Type: Enciphered PIN verification performed by ICC
  • CVM Condition Code: If transaction is in Application Currency Code and is over X value

Cardholder Verification Method 3

  • CVM Code: Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful
  • CVM Type: Signature (paper)
  • CVM Condition Code: Always

If the selected application has Currency Code EUR and the transaction is for GBP 95 there are two options:

  1. The shopper accepts DCC and is charged ~ EUR 135,-. This means CVM 2 is selected because EUR 135 over Amount X and the transaction – after accepting DCC - is in the Application Currency Code
  2. The shopper rejects (or is not offered DCC). This means CVM 3 is selected because the transaction is not in the Application Currency Code and CVM 3 'Always' applied.

CVM results 

The resulting CVM reported to the Cash Register is a hexadecimal representation of the CVM used to verify the card holder.
Example: 440702. The character in second position in this string holds the CVM. The following table outlines what each character means.

Character Definition
1   Offline plaintext PIN
2 Online PIN
3 Offline plaintext PIN and signature
4 Offline enciphered PIN
5 Offline enciphered PIN and signature
E Signature
F No CVM performed

Contactless/NFC Transactions and CVM

Contactless or NFC transactions are subject to the  following configuration options:

  • Contactless CVM limit: an amount (minor units) above which the terminal will require a CVM.
  • Contactless Currency : currency for which contactless transactions can be performed, equal to the country in which the store is located.
  • Contactless floorlimit: floorlimit specifically for contactless transactions.
  • Contactless maximum amount: maximum amount for which a NFC transaction can be performed. If the amount is higher and the terminal general maximum allows it the transaction will start without activating the NFC reader.

If the transaction amount is higher than the contactless CVM limit and a NFC capable card is tapped the terminal will indicate to the card a CVM is required. The card will indicate whether a signature or PIN is required. For PIN this always means an Online PIN is the actual CVM. This implies a NFC transaction over the CVM limit, requiring PIN, cannot be processed offline.

CVM limits for each country and Application Identifier

The threshold value for when PIN (or another CVM) is prompted to the shopper during a contactless transaction can differ per country and AID.  

Country Code

Quantity

Visa

JCB

Mastercard

Diners Club

China Unionpay

Default €25.00 25.00 25.00 25.00 25.00
AD 20.00 €25.00 €25.00 €25.00 €25.00
AU $100.00 $100.00 $100.00 $100.00 $100.00
BE 20.00 €25.00 €25.00 €25.00 €25.00

BG

лв25.00 лв25.00 лв25.00 лв25.00 лв25.00

CA

$100.00 $100.00 $100.00 $100.00 $100.00

CH

Fr. 40.00 Fr. 40.00 Fr. 40.00 Fr. 40.00 Fr. 30.00
CY 20.00 20.00 20.00 20.00 €25.00

CZ

500.00 500.00 500.00 500.00 600.00
DE 50.00 €25.00 €25.00 €25.00 €25.00

DK

Kr. 200.00 Kr. 200.00 Kr. 200.00 Kr. 200.00 Kr. 200.00
EE 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 €25.00
ES 20.00 20.00 20.00 20.00 €25.00
FI €25.00 €25.00 €25.00 €25.00 20.00
FR 30.00 €25.00 €25.00 €25.00 €25.00

GB

£30.00 £30.00 £30.00 £30.00 £25.00

GI

£20.00 £20.00 £20.00 £20.00 £25.00

HK

$1000.00 $1000.00 $1000.00 $1000.00 $5000.00

HR

kn100.00 kn100.00 kn100.00 kn100.00 kn100.00

HU

Ft5000.00 Ft5000.00 Ft5000.00 Ft5000.00 Ft8000.00
IE 30.00 30.00 30.00 30.00 €25.00

IS

Kr. 5000.00 Kr. 4200.00 Kr. 4200.00 Kr. 4200.00 Kr. 3000.00
LI 20.00 40.00 40.00 40.00 30.00
LT 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 €25.00
LV 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 €25.00
MC 20.00 €25.00 €25.00 €25.00 €25.00
MT 20.00 €25.00 €25.00 €25.00 €25.00

NO

Kr. 200.00 Kr. 200.00 Kr. 200.00 Kr. 200.00 Kr. 250.00

NZ

$80.00 $80.00 $80.00 $80.00 $80.00

PL

50.00 50.00 50.00 50.00 100.00
PT 20.00 20.00 20.00 20.00 €25.00

RO

lei100.00 lei100.00 lei100.00 lei100.00 lei100.00

SE

Kr. 200.00 Kr. 200.00 Kr. 200.00 Kr. 200.00 Kr. 250.00

SG

$200.00 $100.00 $100.00 $100.00 $200.00
SI 15.00 15.00 15.00 15.00 €25.00
SK 20.00 20.00 20.00 20.00 €25.00

US

$25.00 $50.00 $50.00 $50.00 $25.00