Over Half of All Payment Cards Issued Now Have Smartchips

April 20, 2018, Written By Bill Hardekopf
Over Half of All Payment Cards Issued Now Have Smartchips

New research from EMVCo shows that over half of the payment cards issued worldwide in 2017 had smartchips. Specifically, 54.6% of cards issued globally were EMV enabled, and 63.7% of card-present transactions involved a chip.

Jack Pan, EMVCo Executive Committee Chair, said, “Both EMV chip card issuance and EMV chip transactions surpassing 50% globally is…a significant milestone for the payments community.” The number of EMV cards issued increased by more than one billion in 2017, exceeding seven billion in total.

America has made great strides in card security since the transition to EMV in October 2015. EMVCo notes 41.2% of card-present transactions in the United States are now backed by a smartchip, significantly more than 0.12% in 2014, before the transition. Nevertheless, America still trails behind Europe (98.6% in some areas), Canada (88.5%), Africa (90.9%) and Asia Pacific (54.4%).

To be considered an EMV transaction for EMVCo’s study, both the card and the terminal had to be EMV-enabled. This may be one of the reasons why America is still behind the rest of the world. While many Americans have chipped-cards, many businesses have not updated their registers to accommodate them. If they have the right readers, they may not yet have the chip reader enabled.

This is particularly true among small businesses. Before the October 1 deadline two and a half years ago, only 22% of small businesses said they were ready for the switch. Nearly half (46%) of small business owners at that time said they did not want to pay for a new card terminal. As the demand for EMV and credit card security climbs, these formerly-hesitant business owners may have to make the transition to maintain their customers.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of April 20, 2018. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.

About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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