Some 35% of all card-present transactions conducted globally between January and December 2015 used the EMV chip card standard, up from 32% in 2014, standards body EMVCo has revealed. The number of EMV payment cards in global circulation also increased by 1.4bn to 4.8bn over the 12-month period.
EMVCo’s Europe Zone 1 region — broadly western Europe — maintained the highest percentage of EMV chip transactions, accounting for 97% of card-present payments. 87% of card-present transactions were EMV chip-enabled in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, while in Africa and the Middle East, usage grew to 87%.
In Europe Zone 2 — broadly the CIS states and Asia — EMV chip transactions reached 71% of card-present payments. Significant advances were also made in Asia Pacific, with the percentage of card-present EMV chip transactions rising to 40%, marking a nearly 50% increase on 2014.
The EMV card adoption rate — the percentage of cards in circulation that are equipped with an EMV chip — reached 84% in Europe Zone 1, up from 83% in 2014. In Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, adoption reached 71%, up from 59% in 2014, and in Europe Zone 2, adoption hit 52%, up from 40% in 2014. Asia Pacific saw an adoption rate of 32%, up from 25% the year before.
The US, though, is the last major territory to migrate to EMV and the figures reflect this with the standard accounting for 26% of cards and just 1.98% of transactions in 2015 as a result of merchant adoption of EMV terminals gearing up only recently. “In the US, the EMV transition started to accelerate in 2015 and is continuing apace in the first half of 2016,” EMVCo says.
“The global adoption of the EMV specifications is imperative to the development of a more secure and interoperable payments industry,” says Mike Matan, chairman of the EMVCo executive committee.
“EMVCo welcomes engagement with interested parties from across the payments ecosystem and supports a number of initiatives to enable the payments community to be actively involved in developing, enhancing and evolving future specifications.”