If an EMV payment terminal offers offline authorization (e.g. because connectivity is poor), will chip and PIN transactions be processed using offline PIN validation?

It doesn't make sense to me for online PIN validation to be used, since it means any PIN would be accepted at the moment of (offline) authorization. I'm assuming the card and the terminal negotiate offline PIN validation or signature (depending upon card and terminal capabilities), but was hoping someone can confirm?

1 Answer 1


Generally true. It depends of Cardholder Verification Method (CVM) List of terminal and card. Offline pin would perform if both support offline pin and if it has highest priority in CVM lists.

  • To elaborate, as the answer states, it depends on the CVM configuration of both card and terminal - the card and the terminal can negotiate offline PIN validation or signature (and that would be a reasonable and popular configuration), but it might also be the case that they are configured to e.g. allow a transaction without PIN or deny the transaction if online isn't possible.
    – Peteris
    Jan 12, 2017 at 14:42
  • Is offline authorisation and online PIN validation a valid combination? Jan 12, 2017 at 18:32
  • It seems yes. Why not ? Jan 16, 2017 at 8:27
  • @AlexanderVgn It seems an odd combination. It implies that at the moment of sale, any PIN would be accepted, since the terminal cannot send the encrypted PIN to the issuer for validation. Jan 16, 2017 at 11:16
  • @Duncan checking PIN and authorization there are two different process. Authorization process depends only on result of PIN validation. If no connection - terminal will check offline PIN on card. There is no any case with "any PIN would be accepted". Jan 16, 2017 at 12:14

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