Global EMV Adoption Still in Progress

May 12, 2015

Global EMV Adoption Still in Progress Most of the world has a decade head start on the U.S. in the migration to the EMV standard, but developed regions are still adding hundreds of millions of chip cards years later, according to new data from EMVCo, suggesting the U.S. is in for a long ride. In 2014, EMVCo reported, chip-card adoption globally rose 43 percent to 3.4 billion cards. The number of chip cards in circulation around the world rose by a billion that year. Every region around the world, some where EMV has been implemented for years, still experienced significant increases in the number of cards in circulation and transaction volume. Many experts expect full adoption of EMV in the U.S. to take years , but EMVCo said U.S. plans to migrate to EMV technology are progressing and will give global adoption a significant bump.

“From a regional perspective, the highest volumes of EMV transactions are occurring in regions with a significant base of deployed EMV cards and established acceptance infrastructures. We are, however, pleased to note a significant acceleration of card issuance in the U.S. throughout the course of last year,” said Sean Conroy, current chair of the EMVCo Board of Managers. “We are aware that the U.S. merchant and acquiring communities are actively enabling their acceptance environments and platforms to support EMV transactions and anticipate further advances will be made in this market throughout 2015.”

Western Europe leads the way with a chip card adoption rate of 83.5 percent in 2014, up from nearly 82 percent in 2013. Adoption in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean reached 59.5 percent last year, up from 54.2 percent the year before. Africa and the Middle East climbed to 50.5 percent in 2014 from under 39 percent the previous year. Eastern Europe made big strides in 2014, climbing to an adoption rate of 40.4 percent from 24.4 percent the year before. Chip card adoption in Asia Pacific grew to 25.4 percent in 2014 from 17.4 percent in 2013. A bit more than seven percent of payment card users had chip cards in the U.S. in 2014.