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Official figures of aggregated data published by technical body EMVCo show that by the end of 2016, the number of EMV® payment cards in global circulation had increased by 1.3 billion in the previous 12 months to a total of 6.1 billion.

The data also highlights that 52.4% of all card-present transactions conducted globally between January and December 2016 used EMV chip technology, up from 35.8% for the same period in 2015. To qualify as an EMV transaction, both the card and terminal must be EMV-enabled.

“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,” commented Soumya Chakrabarty, EMVCo Executive Committee Chair. “Therefore, the higher the adoption of EMV technology worldwide, the more robust the entire infrastructure becomes. We also recognise 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 US and Asia.”

The latest statistics show that the percentage of EMV enabled chip card issuance has continued to increase across all regions:
• Europe Zone 1, EMV chip card adoption rate: 84.9% (up from 84.3% in 2015).
• Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, EMV chip card adoption rate: 75.7% (up from 71.7% in 2015).
• Africa and the Middle East, EMV chip card adoption rate: 68.7% (up from 61.2% in 2015).
• Europe Zone 2, EMV chip card adoption rate: 63.7% (up from 52.3% in 2015).
• United States, EMV chip card adoption rate: 52.2% (up from 26.4% in 2015).
• Asia Pacific, EMV chip card adoption rate: 38.8% (up from 32.7% in 2015).

Europe Zone 1 continued to have the highest penetration of card-present transactions made with a chip card (97.8%). This was closely followed by Canada, Latin America & the Caribbean at 90.7%, Africa and the Middle East at 90.2%, and Europe Zone 2 at 86.6%.

The US and Asia demonstrated notable increases as they continue migrating card-present based payments to EMV chip technology.

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