Slideshow How the Shift to EMV Is Faring (So Far)

  • April 06 2016, 11:00am EDT
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The U.S. shift to EMV — once considered as viable as the U.S. shift to the metric system — is well underway. Here are some of the latest signs of progress, as well as some of the biggest pain points.


More than 212 million Visa cards were issued with EMV chips by Dec. 31, and more than 766,000 merchant locations accept Visa EMV cards. There are now more chip cards in the U.S. than in any other country, Visa says.

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According to MasterCard, 59% of its U.S.-issued consumer credit cards had EMV chips as of Dec. 31, and more than 800,000 merchant locations can accept EMV MasterCard products. It did not provide an exact number of EMV cards issued.

Consumer Adoption

Seven out of 10 Americans have at least one EMV-chip card in their wallet, according to Visa research, and about 93% of consumers are aware of the EMV migration whether or not they have a chip card.

Global Shift

It's not just the U.S. that's adopting EMV at a rapid pace. According to EMVCo, a third of payments worldwide were made with an EMV card as of mid-2015. In Western Europe, that's a staggering 97% of all card payments; in Latin America, 87% and in Africa and the Middle East it's 84%, according to data published in December.

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Chargebacks Rise

The Oct. 1, 2015 liability shift, which moved EMV fraud liability to the company that was unable to handle EMV cards, is starting to take its toll. The Kroger grocery chain reports operating costs rose 23 points during the final quarter of 2015, in part from higher chargeback losses.

Gift Card Consequences

As the EMV shift continues, fraudsters are paying more attention to gift cards. Many scammers are using counterfeit credit or debit cards to buy gift cards at non-EMV merchants, causing some of those merchants to restrict the way they sell gift cards, according to gift card giant Blackhawk Network.

Web Commerce Woes

It has long been expected that the shift to EMV at the point of sale would drive more fraud online — and that the fraud migration would begin even before EMV took hold. According to research from Forter, overall fraud attempts increased 163% in the first three quarters of 2015, with digital goods seeing a spike of 254% in attempted fraud.