EMV chip cards circulation increases to 4.8 billion, says EMVCo

The number of EMV payment cards in global circulation has increased

EMV chip cards circulation increases to 4.8 billion, says EMVCo

The number of EMV payment cards in global circulation has increased, year on year, by 1.4 billion to 4.8 billion, reveals official data released by global technical body EMVCo.

EMVCo further reported that nearly 35% of all card-present transactions recorded globally between January and December 2015 used the EMV chip technology, up from 32% in 2014.

EMVCo’s Europe Zone 1 region, mainly Western Europe, recorded the highest percentage of EMV chip transactions. EMV chip card adoption rate was 84.3% in the region, up from 83.5% in 2014.

In Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, the EMV chip-enabled card adoption rate was 71.7% up from 59.5% in 2014. In Africa and the Middle East, the adoption rate was 61.2% up from 50.5% in 2014.

In Europe Zone 2, the chip card adoption was 52.3% up from 40.4% in 2014, while Asia Pacific saw an adoption rate of 32%, up from 25% the year before.

In the US, the EMV transition started to accelerate in 2015, and is continuing apace in the first half of 2016.

EMVCo chairman of the executive committee Mike Matan said: “The global adoption of the EMV specifications is imperative to the development of a more secure and interoperable payments industry.

“EMVCo welcomes engagement with interested parties from across the payments ecosystem and supports a number of initiatives to enable the payments community to be actively involved in developing, enhancing and evolving future specifications.”

EMVCo operates as a consortium with control split equally among Visa, Mastercard, JCB, American Express, China UnionPay, and Discover.