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Number Of EMV Chip Cards Jumped By 1 Billion In 2014

Newly released figures from EMVCo, the public corporation that manages the payments standard, show the number of EMV chip cards in circulation increased globally by 43 percent in 2014 to 3.4 billion.

That increase resulted in 1 billion more EMV chip-enabled cards being deployed into circulation in 2014. The fourth quarter results for 2013 showed that there were 2.3 billion EMV cards in circulation. EMVCo’s members include American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, UnionPay and Visa.

"With an additional 1 billion EMV chip cards issued in 2014 and cumulative transaction volumes climbing in every region last year, it is clear from the data released today that the global roll out of EMV chip technology is progressing at a healthy pace,” said Tac Watanabe, current EMVCo Executive Committee Chair. “The EMV Specifications delivered by EMVCo enable globally interoperable chip payments, so their growth in adoption is fundamental to the development of a more secure international payments industry. It is great to see that we are moving closer to that end goal."

EMV on a global scale has also continued to increase drastically in the past year. In parts of Europe, EMV chip card adoption rate increased 83.5 percent; in other parts of Europe it saw a 40.4 percent increase. In Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, that adoption rate increased by 59.5 percent. In Africa and the Middle East, that rate increased by 50.5 percent. The Asia Pacific region saw an increase of 25.4 percent. In the U.S., the rate increased by 7.3 percent.

"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, 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."

In its report, EMVCo also reported that 32 percent of all chip card-present transactions, which includes contact and contactless, conducted in 2014 used EMV chip technology. That figure was up slightly from 29 percent between July 2013 and June 2014.

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