More than nine in ten card present transactions conducted globally (90.44%) were made using EMV chip-enabled payment cards between January and December 2021, up from 88.55% in 2020, according to standards body EMVCo.
The total number of EMV payment cards in circulation also rose by 1.1bn, from 10.816bn as of December 2020 to reach just under 12bn at the end of 2021, accounting for 68% of all cards issued worldwide, with the average global adoption rate also increasing from 66.4% in 2020 to 68.16% in 2021.
According to EMVCo’s data, the percentage of card present transactions made using EMV chip-enabled cards was highest in Europe Zone 1 — broadly western Europe — at 99.52%, followed by Africa and the Middle East (98.99%), Europe Zone 2 (97.61%), Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean (96.89%), Asia Pacific (82.71%) and the USA (81.74%).
The USA saw the highest increase in EMV card present transactions, rising by nine percentage points from 72.83% in 2020 to reach this year’s figure of 81.74%.
EMV chip card adoption rates exceeded 90% in Africa and the Middle East (91.69%), Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean (90.56%) and Europe Zone 1 (90.46%).
Adoption rates in other regions ranged from 86.29% in Europe Zone 2 to 62.64% in Asia Pacific and 62.86% in the USA.
“With 12bn EMV cards deployed worldwide, and issuance and adoption seeing sustained increases globally, EMV chip provides a trusted foundation that is supporting the ongoing shift away from cash and towards digital payments,” EMVCo executive committee chair Robin Trickel says.
“Looking ahead, EMVCo continues to advance the EMV Chip Specifications in collaboration with merchants, issuers, acquirers, payment networks, financial institutions, manufacturers, technology providers and testing laboratories across the globe.
“Key initiatives include enhancements to the EMV Contact Chip Specification to support elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) for robust security, as well as efforts to enable and support emerging use cases and new ways to pay.”
EMVCo released a draft contactless kernel specification for payment acceptance devices in May and revealed plans to extend its specifications and testing programmes in February.