Slideshow EMV in the USA: The Story So Far

  • April 05 2013, 3:27pm EDT
10 Images Total

(Image: ThinkStock)


As recently as 2009, after the U.K. and many other countries had already adopted EMV cards, the U.S. remained so averse to do so that one analyst predicted EMV would catch on in the U.S. about as well as the metric system did. (Image: ThinkStock)

Content Continues Below

Coming to America

In 2010, it finally seemed possible to get an EMV card in the U.S., as United Nations Federal Credit Union announced it would offer the cards to its members. However, since the credit union serves U.N. diplomats and their families, it wasn't yet possible for most other U.S. citizens to get an EMV card. (Image: ThinkStock)

Chipping Away

Soon, Travelex and State Employees' Credit Union began issuing EMV cards as well. In 2011, mega-banks Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bancorp and Citigroup also announced plans to issue EMV cards. (Image: ThinkStock)

PIN Drops

EMV cards are so commonly used with a PIN code for added security that many people just call them "chip and PIN" cards. But in the U.S., issuers such as JPMorgan Chase and U.S. Bank chose to offer the cards as signature-only products. (Image: ThinkStock)

Content Continues Below

Carrot and Stick

In mid-2011, Visa introduced a formal timeline for chip-card adoption in the U.S. For merchants that added enough EMV terminals by October 2012, Visa offered a carrot: it waives the requirement to validate against the PCI Data Security Standard. For those that miss the later October 2015 deadline, it has a stick: a liability shift for fraud. (Image: ThinkStock)

Network Effect

By mid-2012, all four major card brands had adopted a largely identical timeline for EMV chip-card adoption in the U.S. Though the networks take different stances on the importance of using a PIN, all agree that most U.S. merchants should be able to accept EMV cards by October 2015 (fuel merchants have an extra two years). (Image: Bloomberg News)

Processors Play Along

The card brands also set an April 1, 2013 deadline for acquirer processors to accept EMV cards. According to Visa, those that handle "the vast majority of U.S. face-to-face sales volume have completed Visa's mandated requirements" by the deadline. (Image: ThinkStock)

Content Continues Below

Mobile's Mixed Reception

Today, American micro-merchants that rely on mobile card readers have few options for chip-card acceptance. London-based mPowa offers a mobile EMV card reader to U.S. merchants, but U.S.-based companies such as PayPal and VeriFone market the EMV versions of their mobile card readers primarily overseas. (Image: ThinkStock)


The next major deadline for EMV acceptance arrives April 19, 2013. According to MasterCard policy, after that date any ATM operators that do not accept EMV cards face a liability shift for fraud that occurs on internationally-issued EMV cards used at their machines. (Image: ThinkStock)