EMV adoption continues to break barriers

Category: Payment Processing Technologies

Over the past year, the rate at which both consumers and businesses moved to start using EMV transactions on a regular basis has increased significantly. With the full weight of the payment processing industry behind the push for more chip-and-PIN purchases, the security of each purchase is starting to rise. Recent data shows just how successful the drive to boost adoption rates has been.

"88% of all credit cards issued by MasterCard had EMV."

Through the end of July, 88 percent of all credit cards issued by MasterCard - the world's second-largest payment processor - came with embedded EMV technology, an increase of 105 percent since last October, the payments giant announced. In addition, about 2 million merchant locations large and small nationwide were capable of handling these types of transactions, a number that was up 33 percent. And of those 2 million retail spots, 1.3 million were smaller companies, marking 159 percent growth in the same period.

Shifting preferences
Indeed, 87 percent of consumers with MasterCard-issued credit cards now say they use their EMV capabilities to make purchases on a regular basis, the report said. That's up from 49 percent on an annual basis. Likewise, merchants that adopted EMV saw counterfeit card fraud drop 54 percent year-over-year through the end of April. Meanwhile, those who had not yet taken that step saw this kind of fraud shift more heavily onto them, with counterfeit purchases rising 77 percent over the same period.

"We need chip cards in wallets and chip terminals at checkout to continue to drive card fraud out of the U.S.," said Craig Vosburg, president of North America for MasterCard. "This country is one of the most complex markets in the world so we know things won't change overnight. However, we're encouraged by the significant progress over the last 11 months. With every additional chip transaction we move closer and closer to our collective goal - moving fraud out of the system."

Issues still linger for some merchants
However, the issue of the so-called EMV bottleneck is still a very real one for merchants that are trying to make that process go more quickly, according to new data from Research and Markets. This comes despite consumers' relatively newfound enthusiasm for the EMV switch, because while merchants are moving to adopt the technology in general, they may have spent months waiting to be certified by a number of payment processors such as MasterCard, Visa, or American Express.

Those companies are taking steps to speed up certification so that more merchants can get on the right side of the ledger when it comes to stamping out fraud, the report said. But for now, the hurdles still need to be overcome.

The good news is that even as payment giants work to get retailers through the certification process more quickly, it still behooves merchants to start it as soon as possible. By adopting the right kinds of point-of-sale devices, these smaller companies in particular might be able to seize on the growing trends in both EMV and mobile payment adoption.