HSBC Holdings PLC's plans to issue smart credit cards in the Asia-Pacific region that comply with the EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specifications could boost adoption of the security format in most markets, except the U.S., observers said.

Gemalto NV announced last week that HSBC would issue its EMV cards to 15 million credit card customers in the financial company's 19 Asia-Pacific markets. Gemalto also would provide personalization and business-recovery planning services associated with the rollout.

Fraud prevention is the key driver behind the migration of magnetic stripe credit cards to the EMV standard.

"There is a growing ground swell toward EMV adoption in markets around the world, which is also going to help drive significant growth in EMV-equipped payment terminals in many markets," said Lynn Holland, the vice president of retail payment solutions for the payments software vendor ACI Worldwide Inc.

Though EMV is expected to gain momentum in many regions this year, there is no indication the U.S. will make the switch in the foreseeable future.

"Minus a broad security mandate requiring EMV adoption, we are unlikely to see it happen in the U.S.," Holland said. "Until card fraud in the U.S. reaches the point where it impacts consumers and corporations to the necessary extent, U.S. brands are not likely to react to what the rest of the world is doing with EMV."