More than half of all card-present transactions conducted globally (52.4%) between January and December 2016 used the EMV chip card standard, up from 35.8% for the same period in 2015, standards body EMVCo has revealed. By the end of 2016, the number of EMV payment cards in global circulation had increased by 1.3bn in the previous 12 months to a total of 6.1bn.
Europe Zone 1 — broadly Western Europe — continued to have the highest penetration of card-present transactions made with a chip card (97.8%), followed by Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean with 90.7%, Africa and the Middle East with 90.2% and Europe Zone 2 — broadly Russia and the other CIS states — with 86.6%.
“The US and Asia demonstrated notable increases as they continue migrating card-present based payments to EMV chip technology,” EMVCo says.
The percentage of EMV-enabled chip card issuance has also “continued to increase across all regions” with the US witnessing the largest increase over the period, reaching 52.2% in 2016, up from 26.4% the year before.
In Europe Zone 1, EMV chip card adoption rates hit 84.9% while in Europe Zone 2 adoption rose to 63.7%, up from 52.3% in 2015.
In Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, EMV chip card adoption rate reached 75.7% — up from 71.7% a year previous — and in Africa and the Middle East, EMV adoption rate hit 68.7%, up from 61.2% in 2015. In Asia Pacific, the EMV chip card adoption rate reached 38.8%, up from 32.7% in 2015.
“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,” says 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 migration in regions such as the US and Asia.”