Dara Security

The Status of EMV

June 04, 2019

Conversion from magnetic-stripe payment cards to EMV (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa) chip cards boomed when EMV conversion first launched, and recent data from Visa Inc shows that conversion efforts continue to grow.

EMV conversion was first introduced in 2015 when the major card networks established a liability shift from issuers to merchants. Beginning in October 2015, merchants assumed the responsibility for financial losses due to counterfeit fraud if their POS terminals could not accept chip cards. As merchants gave chip technology top priority, EMV conversion grew rapidly from 2015-2017.

Visa’s recent data shows that EMV conversion grew steadily in 2018. Compared to 2015, the number of EMV payment cards in the US rose 221%, the number of merchant locations accepting chip cards increased 692%, and the volume of chip transactions in the US have consistently climbed. Clearly, the data shows that EMV conversion has been successful since its official 2015 launch.

Perhaps a more significant metric of success is that card-present counterfeit payment fraud has reduced by 80% since 2015. This type of fraud plagues magnetic-stripe payment cards and motivated the conversion to EMV chip cards. Reducing this type of fraud by 80% is quite impressive considering that chip payment volume was $88.9 billion at the end of 2018.  

Continued growth in EMV conversion can be expected as gas stations have yet to upgrade their pumps to accept EMV chip cards. Due to the complexity and high cost of pump upgrades, gas stations were given a three-year postponement. However, their 2020 deadline is quickly approaching. Undoubtedly, these merchants will advance in their EMV conversion efforts, ensuring that EMV conversion numbers will continue to climb.