Increasing counterfeit card fraud led the financial industry to move to smart chip technology for bank cards and to develop the global EMV standard for bank cards based on chip card technology. The EMV specification, first available in 1996 and managed by EMVCo, defines the global interoperable standard for smart bank cards.
Financial institutions in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Asia/Pacific and Canada are issuing contact or dual-interface EMV smart cards for credit and debit payment or migrating to EMV issuance. According to EMVCo, approximately 1.5 billion EMV cards have been issued globally and 21.9 million POS terminals accept EMV cards as of Q4 2011. This represents 44.7% of the total payment cards in circulation and 76.4% of the POS terminals installed globally.
The United States is one of the last countries to migrate to EMV. American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa have all announced their plans for moving to an EMV-based payments infrastructure in the U.S.
- In August 2011, Visa announced plans to accelerate chip migration and adoption of mobile payments in the United States, through retailer incentives, processing infrastructure acceptance requirements and counterfeit card liability shift.
- In January 2012, MasterCard announced their U.S. roadmap to enable the next generation of electronic payments, with EMV the foundational technology.
- In March 2012, Discover announced implementation of a 2013 mandate for acquirers and direct-connect merchants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, to support EMV.
- In June 2012, American Express announced its U.S. EMV roadmap to advance contact, contactless and mobile payments and plans to begin issuing EMV-compliant cards in the U.S. in the latter half of 2012.
The EMV Connections web site provides up-to-date EMV migration information and educational resources for all industry stakeholders: