United States Now Has Largest Market For Chip Credit Cards
EMV technology has made tremendous strides in the United States over the last year, according to a new report from Visa. As of December 2015, there were nearly 213 million Visa chip cards in circulation, representing a 644% increase over year ago levels.
This makes the U.S. the largest market for chip payment cards in the world. Brazil is the second largest market with 124.5 million cards. The UK market consists of 120.6 million cards, followed by Japan, Mexico, and Russia.
Merchants have also begun to adapt to smart chip security standards. Visa reports 766,000 merchant locations have chip-enabled card readers across the country, which is an 872% increase for the year. Much of this growth is due to the October 1, 2015 deadline which required both merchants and card issuers to switch to EMV technology.
The goal was to improve the security of the consumer card system in America, since smart chip cards are much harder to replicate than magnetic strip cards. Many merchants, particularly small businesses, failed to meet the October deadline. But these latest statistics indicate that the shift is now well underway.