How we pay around the world: EMV cards

With the likes of Visa, MasterCard and American Express making concerted efforts to make US merchant migration to the EMV standard as easy as possible, we thought we would take a look at recent data showing how EMV card uptake is going around the world. And the uptake is going very well.

The number of EMV chip cards in global circulation has increased to 4.8 billion by the end of 2015, an increase of 1.4 billion year-on-year, according to Global technical body EMVCo.

Furthermore, between the months of January and December 2015, EMV-chip payment technology represented over a third (35.8%) of all card present transactions globally, up from 32% for the same period in 2014.


Regional breakdown

Europe Zone 1: Adoption rate of EMV-chip cards increased by just under 1% from 2014 (83.5% to 84.3%). EMVCo says Europe Zone 1 maintained the highest percentage of EMV chip transactions, which accounted for 97.3% of card-present payments.

Europe Zone 2: Saw much lower rate of adoption at 52.3%, but it was still a significant increase from 2014 when it was 40.4%. In the region, EMV-chip cards represented seven out of ten card-present transactions.

Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean: Another noticeable increase: 71.7% (up from 59.5% in 2014) and 87.9% of card-present transactions were EMV chip-enabled in the region.

Africa and the Middle East: EMV chip card adoption rate jumped significantly from 50.5% in 2014 to 61.2%.

The US: Has the Fraud Liability Shift finally started to pick up pace? According to EMVCo, the acceleration that started in 2015 is continuing in the first half of 2016.

Asia Pacific: EMV chip card adoption rate: 32.7% (up from 25.4% in 2014). However, the percentage of card-present EMV chip transactions rose to 40.3%, a huge increase of 50% from 2014.

“The global adoption of the EMV Specifications is imperative to the development of a more secure and interoperable payments industry,” said Mike Matan, current Chair of the EMVCo Executive Committee.

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