credit card close up EMV chip

EMV Chip Payments on the Rise, Says EMVCo

December 19, 2016         By: Steven Anderson

It’s been easy to scoff at the rise of Europay / Mastercard / Visa (EMV) payment systems, mostly because the adoption rates haven’t exactly been the greatest. In fact, by some measures it’s been downright disastrous.

The numbers tell a different story, at least according to EMVCo, which announced that EMV chip payments in both contact and contactless varieties have seen growth in a year-to-year comparison.

The growth in question wasn’t trivial, either; the gains seen between June 2015 and June 2016 represented a growth rate of 42.4 percent worldwide, which represented an increase in its own right as the previous year-to-year comparison period could only field a 33 percent hike.

Since both card and terminal need to be EMV-capable to qualify as an EMV transaction under EMVCo’s rules, it proves the true extent of both cards and infrastructure.

The biggest users of EMV, meanwhile were Africa and the Middle East, where EMV transactions involving cards represented 89.9 percent of all such transactions, while in Asia, EMV represented 57.9 percent. While there weren’t numbers noted for the United States, EMVCo did reveal that the number was steadily rising.

It’s not surprising to see a lag between the United States and everyone else here as this was one of the last places to actually get EMV going. With so much lead time everywhere else, it’s reasonable enough to see that EMV is much farther ahead elsewhere.

As the number of cards and terminals grow, then so too will the numbers; in other places, non-EMV systems are much more seldom seen, so there’s often no choice but to use EMV when there’s a card involved somehow.

Next year, when the year-to-year for June 2016 to June 2017 comes out, we’ll likely see fairly static numbers worldwide and growth in the United States, because here, the US is the “developing market.” Developing markets routinely show faster growth than established markets because established markets have already grown.

Either way, though, it’s clear that EMV is catching on worldwide, and some places much more so than others. That’s good news for EMV makers, and news that will likely keep this one of the leading forms of mobile payment for some time to come.