There Are 6.1 Billion EMV Cards In Circulation

According to new figures out from EMVCo, there were a total of 6.1 billion EMV cards in circulation worldwide as of the end of 2016. That represents an increase by about 1.3 billion cards over the last 12 months.

The new data also indicates that 52.4 percent of all card-present transactions globally were handled with EMV tech — a 35.8 percent increase from the same time two years ago 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,” commented 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 adoption of EMV is a bit uneven globally — as one might expect. European adoption rate is now at 84.9 percent; Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean have seen adoption at 75.7 percent; the Middle East and Africa are at 68.7 percent; the U.S. is clocking in at 52.2 percent and Asia Pacific is bringing up the rear at 38.8 percent.

The U.S. and Asia demonstrated notable increases as they continued migrating card-present based payments to EMV chip technology.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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