By the end of last year, the number of EMV chip cards in global circulation had increased by 1.3 billion from 2015 to a total of 6.1 billion, according to EMV standards body EMVCo.

EMVCo's data also shows that 52% of all card-present transactions conducted globally in 2016 used EMV chip technology, up from 35.8% for the same period in 2015.

To qualify as an EMV transaction for EMVCo data, both the card and terminal must be EMV-enabled.

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“Implementation of the EMV chip infrastructure globally offers real benefits to merchants, acquirers, card issuers and consumers as the specifications support features for reducing the fraud that results from counterfeit and lost and stolen payment cards,” Soumya Chakrabarty, EMVCo executive committee chair, said in a June 5 press release.

The higher the adoption of EMV technology worldwide, the more robust the entire infrastructure becomes, Chakrbarty added.

"We also recognize that more recent data will reflect higher adoption rates than the January to December 2016 reporting period, given the current pace of migration in regions such as the U.S. and Asia,” Chakrabarty said.

Even though the U.S. and parts of Asia had the most significant migration to chip cards during 2016, all regions monitored through EMVCo showed increases in cards issued.

The U.S. adoption rate was 52.2%, up from 26.4% in 2015. The liability shift related to the U.S. migration took place in October 2015.

European zone 1, which is mostly Western Europe, saw a rate increase of nearly 85%, up slightly from 84% the previous year. European zone 2, or mostly Eastern Europe, registered an increase of nearly 64%, up from 52% in 2015.

For the Canada, Latin America and Caribbean region, adoption rose to 75% from the previous year's 71%. Africa and the Middle East saw an increase to nearly 69% from 61% in 2015. Asia Pacific's adoption rate rose to nearly 39%, up from 32%.

Europe zone 1 continued to have the highest penetration of card-present transactions with chip cards at 97.8%.

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