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3.4 billion EMV chip payment cards in global circulation

Official figures for Q4 2014 released by the global technical body EMVCo show that significant advances are being made globally in the adoption of EMV chip technology. By the end of last year, the number of EMV payment cards in circulation rose by 1 billion, up 43%, to 3.4 billion, from 2.37 billion in Q4 2013.

According to the latest statistics from EMVCo’s members – American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, UnionPay and Visa – as reported by their members globally, EMV chip card adoption rates had increased in every region worldwide by the end of 2014:

Worldwide EMV chip card deployment

Worldwide EMV chip card deployment

  • Europe Zone 1, EMV chip card adoption rate: 83.5% (up from 81.6% in 2013)
  • Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, EMV chip card adoption rate: 59.5% (up from 54.2% in 2013)
  • Africa and the Middle East EMV chip card adoption rate: 50.5% (up from 38.9% in 2013)
  • Europe Zone 2 EMV chip card adoption rate: 40.4% (up from 24.4% in 2013)
  • Asia Pacific EMV chip card adoption rate: 25.4% (up from 17.4% in 2013)
  • United States EMV chip card adoption rate: 7.3%

EMVCo also reports that 32% of all chip card-present transactions – both contact and contactless – conducted globally between January and December 2014 used EMV chip technology* up from 29% as reported in November 2014 by EMVCo .

Europe Zone 1 maintained the highest percentage of EMV chip transactions, which accounted for nearly 97% of card-present payments. Over 85% of card-present transactions were EMV chip-enabled in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, while in Africa and the Middle East, the figure was 80%.

EMV chip technology continued to gain ground in Europe Zone 2 and Asia, where the percentage of EMV chip transactions accounted for 58% and 27% of card-present payments respectively. In the United States, which is currently in the process of migrating its payment infrastructure to EMV chip technology, 0.12% of transactions were EMV chip based.

Tac Watanabe, current EMVCo Executive Committee Chair, comments: “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. 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.”

“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 US throughout the course of last year,” adds Sean Conroy, current Chair of the EMVCo Board of Managers. “We are aware that the US 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.”

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