The percentage of EMV transactions in the United States is miniscule compared to other parts of the world, but the migration to chip cards in the U.S. is lifting the technology's global growth — now at 42.4% of all card transactions.
That percentage, taken from examining data from July 2015 to June 2016, represents an increase over the 33% of transactions attributed to EMV in the previous 12-month period, according to EMVCo, the EMV standards body. EMVCo compiles the annual transaction report from financial institutions figures of members American Express, Discover, JCB, Mastercard, Visa and Union Pay.
“The progress of EMV chip technology worldwide promotes the implementation of an interoperable payments framework, supporting an advancing range of payment methods, technologies and acceptance environments,” Soumya Chakrabarty, EMVCo executive Committee chair, said in a Dec. 14 press release.
“In addition to increasing global usage, the most recent data shows rapid adoption of EMV technology in regions that have recently implemented EMV chip infrastructures, such as the United States and China," Chakrabarty said.
With continued migrations, EMVCo expects compliance figures to increase in the coming year, possibly exceeding more than half of all transactions globally for the first time.
For its part, in a research period that included four months before the U.S. card brands established the liability shift for EMV readiness, the U.S. saw its EMV card-present transaction rate rise to 7.2%, compared to a miniscule .26% in the prior year. The U.S. liability shift took effect Oct. 1, 2015.
In regions where EMV transactions are the norm, numbers continued to rise. In Africa and the Middle East, 89.9% of all transactions were EMV, up from 83.8% the previous year.
In Asia, because of chip migration in China, EMV transactions accounted for 57.9% of all transactions, a significant jump from 33.6% a year earlier.
Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean saw 88.8% of transactions using EMV, a slight increase from 87% the prior year.
EMVCo breaks Europe's data into two zones. In zone one, or Western Europe, EMV accounted for 97.6% of all transactions, nearly identical to the previous year at 97%. In zone two for Eastern Europe, 75% of transactions were EMV, up from the previous 65.4%.
In terms of EMV card issuance and adoption at the end of 2015, the data revealed that the U.S. had an adoption rate of 26.4% with 394 million EMV cards issued. That number figures to skyrocket with the 2016 final figures, encompassing a full year of the EMV liability shift in place.