EMVCo Reports 6.1 Billion EMV Chip Payment Cards in Global Circulation

Latest figures highlight progression of EMV chip card issuance and increase in EMV chip-based transaction volumes to more than half of all card-present payments

Official figures of aggregated data published by technical body EMVCo show that by the end of 2016, the number of EMV® payment cards in global circulation had increased by 1.3 billion in the previous 12 months to a total of 6.1 billion*.

The data also highlights that 52.4% of all card-present transactions conducted globally between January and December 2016 used EMV chip technology, up from 35.8% for the same period in 2015. To qualify as an EMV transaction, both the card and terminal must be EMV-enabled.

“Implementation of the EMV chip infrastructure globally offers real benefits to merchants, acquirers, card issuers and consumers as the specifications support features for reducing the fraud that results from counterfeit and lost and stolen payment cards,” commented Soumya Chakrabarty, EMVCo Executive Committee Chair. “Therefore, the higher the adoption of EMV technology worldwide, the more robust the entire infrastructure becomes. We also recognise that more recent data will reflect higher adoption rates than the January to December 2016 reporting period, given the current pace of migration in regions such as the US and Asia.”

The latest statistics show that the percentage of EMV enabled chip card issuance has continued to increase across all regions:

  • Europe Zone 1, EMV chip card adoption rate: 84.9% (up from 84.3% in 2015).
  • Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, EMV chip card adoption rate: 75.7% (up from 71.7% in 2015).
  • Africa and the Middle East, EMV chip card adoption rate: 68.7% (up from 61.2% in 2015).
  • Europe Zone 2, EMV chip card adoption rate: 63.7% (up from 52.3% in 2015).
  • United States, EMV chip card adoption rate: 52.2% (up from 26.4% in 2015).
  • Asia Pacific, EMV chip card adoption rate: 38.8% (up from 32.7% in 2015).

Europe Zone 1 continued to have the highest penetration of card-present transactions made with a chip card (97.8%). This was closely followed by Canada, Latin America & the Caribbean at 90.7%, Africa and the Middle East at 90.2%, and Europe Zone 2 at 86.6%.

The US and Asia demonstrated notable increases as they continue migrating card-present based payments to EMV chip technology.

To see the full data, visit the EMVCo website.

Soumya concluded: “It is important to note that the EMV Chip Specifications are continually evolving. As the needs of the industry advance and new payment technologies are launched, EMVCo is committed to working with the industry to develop the chip acceptance infrastructure to provide a secure foundation for emerging face-to-face payment technologies.”

EMVCo encourages users of EMV chip technology to engage in the EMVCo Associates Programme or become a Subscriber. The participation programme enables interested parties to contribute to the EMV Specifications and stay well informed of the latest developments.

* Data represents the latest statistics from American Express, Discover, JCB, Mastercard, UnionPay and Visa during the noted period. Transaction data is reported from the acquirer perspective. These figures do not include offline transactions, ‘on us’ transactions (defined as a transaction handled exclusively by another processor) and/or transactions processed by non-EMVCo member institutions, such as national payment networks.

EMV is a registered trademark or trademark of EMVCo LLC in the United States and other countries.

EMVCo is the global technical body that facilitates the worldwide interoperability and acceptance of secure payment transactions by managing and evolving the EMV Specifications and related testing processes. Adoption of EMV Specifications and associated approval and certification processes promotes a unified international payments framework, which supports an advancing range of payment methods, technologies and acceptance environments. The specifications are designed to be flexible and can be adapted regionally to meet national payment requirements and accommodate local regulations. EMVCo makes the EMV Specifications available on a royalty-free basis to all industry participants and to the public.

EMVCo is collectively owned by American Express, Discover, JCB, Mastercard, UnionPay and Visa, and focuses on the technical advancement of the EMV Specifications. To provide all payment stakeholders with a platform to engage in its strategic and technical direction, the EMVCo Associates Programme receives significant input from its Business and Technical Associates, which consist of industry participants including issuers, acquirers, payment networks, merchants, manufacturers, technology providers and testing laboratories from numerous countries. Any interested party is able to join EMVCo’s Subscriber Service, which provides access to advance information regarding new developments and draft documents, and the opportunity to provide feedback and input on the work of EMVCo.

Visit www.emvco.com for further information and join EMVCo on LinkedIn.