September 17, 2015
According to a recent blog post by Visa, more than 141 million Visa chip cards are in circulation in the US today and this figure is more than the 129 million Visa chip cards in Brazil and 124 million chip cards in the UK. Hats off to the US issuer banks for playing their role in such a rapid EMV migration, especially when the deadline is just 15 days away. What is even more noteworthy is that only a year ago, the US had less than 20 million Visa chip cards in circulation. Within only a year, the number of Visa chip cards issued has increased by more than 600%.
Visa has released an infographic on the speed of EMV adoption rate in US in the past one year. According to the infographic, the chip activated merchant locations increased from 55,000 in September 2014 to 301,000 in August 2015, which is a 447% increase in one year. The number of Visa chip payment transactions increased from 6.2 million in September 2014 to 59.7 million in August 2015, which is a whopping 862% rise in the number of transactions in a year. The volume of Visa chip payment transactions increased from $300 million in September 2014 to $3,643 million in August 2015, which is an incredible rise of 1100% in one single year.
What is even more interesting is that 50% of the increase in volume of transactions in chip cards is driven by small businesses in the US. Surveys conducted by Visa show that the awareness, knowledge and adoption of EMV technology and chip cards has been increasing month over month amongst consumers and business owners. This seems contrary to some other reports that seem to highlight only challenges in EMV migration among small businesses. While the roadblocks and complexity in transitioning to EMV is real, many small businesses have also been at the forefront of mobile payments adoption. Square’s dongle based payment acceptance solution was designed primarily for small businesses, who paved the way for broader adoption of such POS innovations.
Although the US was the last country to adopt EMV technology, it is being the fastest amongst all in migrating to it. These figures from Visa indicate the rise of EMV technology worldwide. Liability shift is playing the most important role in the EMV migration universally. Payment networks like Visa and MasterCard have been promoting the EMV migration and chip cards since August 2011. They also announced merchant incentives like PCI relief for early conversion to EMV in 2012. The timeline on efforts made after EMV migration in the US can be found here. There are still few a developing countries like India and China who haven’t migrated to EMV completely. However, 2017 is expected to be year of EMV migration globally.
Infographic by Visa: