EMV cards in circulation worldwide top 6B

Official figures from aggregated data published by technical body EMVCo show that, by the end of 2016, the number of EMV payment cards in global circulation increased 1.3 billion year over year to a new total of 6.1 billion, according to a press release.

The data also reveals that 52.4 percent of all card-present transactions conducted globally between January and December 2016 used EMV chip technology, up from 35.8 percent for the same period in 2015. To qualify as an EMV transaction, both 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," said Soumya Chakrabarty, EMVCo executive committee chair. "Therefore, the higher the adoption of EMV technology worldwide, the more robust the entire infrastructure becomes. We also recognize 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 U.S. and Asia."

The latest statistics show that the percentage of EMV enabled chip card issuance increased in all regions between 2015 and 2016:

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

Topics: EMV, Trends / Statistics

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