What’s the State of EMV in 2018?

credit card on laptop

It doesn’t seem that long ago we were spending a lot of time writing about the EMV liability shift across the United States. But even though this transition still feels fairly recent, it’s already been over two years since it officially took place.

If we look back to October 1, 2015, there’s no question the country has gone through a lot of changes. From getting a new president to cryptocurrency hitting the mainstream, we could put together a lengthy list of significant changes that have affected the payment industry. And even though the EMV shift has been two years in the making, there’s still many changes expected in the coming year.

A Refresher on EMV

EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa – also known as cards with a chip. Instead of requiring a swipe, they can be inserted directly into a terminal, with the ultimate goal of reducing fraud in retail settings.

The Impact of EMV Cards

Based on all the data available, it appears these cards have accomplished their main goal. Merchants that completed the chip upgrade have seen a drop of 66 percent in counterfeit card and fraudulent purchases from June 2015 to June 2017.

Although that’s a very significant reduction in fraud, but are the positive effects the result of a limited sample size? Given that EMV adoption across the United States started off slower than expected, it may be possible. But the good news for both consumers and merchants is after an initially slow start, adoption has really accelerated.

Research by Visa found that over 2.3 million U.S. merchants (about 50 percent of domestic storefronts) now accept chip cards. That marks an impressive 473 percent increase since the beginning of the EMV migration in the U.S.

Another way to look at this huge jump is by transaction volume.

In December 2015, just a little under $16 billion was facilitated using Visa chip cards. By June 2017, that number had risen to $58.4 billion, a 265 percent increase. Unlike the static information stored on the magnetic stripe of traditional credit and debit cards, chip cards deter counterfeiting efforts by producing a unique cryptographic code every time for each transaction.

For consumers, EMV cards will continue to be a reliable way to keep their payment information secure. As a merchant, if you haven’t made the switch yet, it’s definitely worth looking at payment processing partners that can help you handle this transition.



Posted on Friday, February 2nd, 2018