MasterCard says US is making progress with EMV roll-out

Earlier in the summer, a report into the number of EMV cards around the world found that global circulation increased to 4.8 billion by the end of 2015, an increase of 1.4 billion year-on-year. The report also said that, in the US, the increase has continued from 2015 into the first half of 2016.

In a way that isn’t surprising given that the likes of Visa, American Express and MasterCard were making quite an effort to shift along (pun intended) the Fraud Liability Shift with offers such as faster EMV transactions and favourable changes to chargeback policies.

Now it appears that the EMV-standard adoption is making progress, according to MasterCard. The payments giant has said that 80% of its consumer credit cards now have chips. The company said this represents an 88% increase in chip card adoption since the October 1, 2015 liability shift started to bring EMV-secured payments to the US.

The company also sees 1.7 million chip-active merchant locations on its network, representing nearly 30 percent of the U.S. merchant population and a 374 percent increase in chip terminal adoption since October 1, 2015.

Chiro Aikat, senior vice president of product delivery – EMV for Mastercard said:

“The U.S. is one of the most complex markets in the world and great progress has been made in securing our payments ecosystem in a short amount of time. It’s rewarding for the industry to start seeing signs that merchants, issuers and consumers can be freed from the burdens of card fraud.”


Is EMV working?

Well, MasterCard data certainly says so: In terms of US dollars, counterfeit card fraud is down over 60% at Mastercard’s top 5 EMV-enabled merchants.

“Mastercard has helped over 150 countries adopt EMV and, time and again, we’ve seen the same result: significant reductions in counterfeit card fraud,” Aikat added.

However, it’s too early to tell how big an effect EMV adoption across the board has had on card fraud. Just last month a report from the Aite Group reported that card fraud is actually on the rise, despite the EMV roll out. Card fraud in the US was the third highest between 2014-2016 at 47%, and has actually risen by 6% in those two years. The country also holds the unpleasant stat of being the only country in the table to actually remain in the top three for two consecutive reports.

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