December 23, 2016
By Jim Daly
Visa Inc. says its U.S. EMV credit and debit card volume surpassed 800 million transactions in November, more than quadruple the chip volume from a year earlier.
November’s transactions on EMV chip cards hit 805.9 million versus 175.6 million in November 2015, a month after the general-purpose card networks’ EMV point-of-sale liability shifts took effect, according to new Visa statistics. Those shifts make merchants liable for counterfeit fraud if their POS terminals can’t read a payment card’s chip.
Payment volume on Visa EMV cards hit $43.8 billion in November, a 262% increase from $12.1 billion a year earlier.
Some 399.9 million Visa credit and debit cards now have a chip, up 105% from 195.4 million in November 2015. While issuers at first converted more credit than debit cards to chip, slightly more than half of Visa’s current chip card base is now debit.
Visa says nearly 1.75 million merchants representing 38% of U.S. card-accepting storefronts accepted chip cards in November, up 154% from 690,000 merchants a year earlier.
Although the bank card networks have virtually identical merchant bases in the U.S., MasterCard Inc. reported in September that 2 million merchants accept EMV cards. Merchant-acquiring executives say the networks have different ways of counting merchant locations.
Visa reports that 75% of chip-accepting merchants are small and mid-sized businesses. Chip-ready merchants are now generating 46% of Visa’s in-store payment volume.
According to Visa, merchants that had completed their EMV upgrades saw a 45% reduction in counterfeit fraud as of August versus August of 2015. The old magnetic-stripe cards are especially vulnerable to counterfeiting, but chip cards are highly effective in thwarting that type of fraud.
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