Over the past year and a half, the EMV liability switch has resulted in millions of Americans and businesses starting to use this emerging payment platform on a regular basis. That wave of adoption has put billions of new, EMV-enabled debit and credit cards into circulation in recent months, and bumped EMV to the top of the list in terms of card-present transaction processing.
As EMV continues to become more widely used among both consumers and merchants, the retailers and restaurants that haven't yet made the switch become increasingly likely to fall behind their competition. With this in mind, making all necessary steps toward adoption can be seen as crucial to future business success.
By the end of last year, the total number of EMV-enabled cards around the world came to 6.1 billion, an increase of 27 percent, according to the latest data from EMVCo. That was fueled by an increase of 1.3 billion cards - mostly in the U.S. and Asia - thanks to the liability shift.
A Bigger Piece of the Pie
As a result of these changes, 52.4 percent of all card-present purchases made worldwide last year relied on EMV technology from both the cardholder and the merchant, the report said. That was up from just 35.8 percent in 2015.
"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," said Soumya Chakrabarty, EMVCo Executive Committee Chair. "Therefore, the higher the adoption of EMV technology worldwide, the more robust the entire infrastructure becomes. 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 US and Asia."
Consumers Feeling Better as Well
The start of the EMV rollout was characterized by consumer skepticism, as many believed these transactions took longer and were a little less convenient than traditional swiping, according to a new survey from TD Bank. And while 62 percent are still concerned with the time each transaction takes, only 41 percent now say it's also less convenient. Moreover, half of respondents said they understand that EMV helps protect them from fraud.
But to address the issues of perceived wait times and inconvenience, the companies behind the EMV rollout continue to innovate and strive for better results, according to Mobile Payments Today. For instance, MasterCard - the world's second-largest payments processor - continues to push its M/Chip Fast processing technology to a greater number of point-of-sale devices so that consumers spend less time at checkout and, potentially, feel better about what EMV can do for them in the long term.
Generally speaking, the more merchants can do to improve their payment processing as both EMV and mobile become more prominent, the better the chance that they will be able to connect with consumers for years to come.