U.S. merchants added 600,000 locations for EMV chip card acceptance in 2019’s first six months, and Visa issuers cranked out an additional 10 million EMV payment cards, according to new figures from Visa Inc.
In its latest update on the U.S. conversion from magnetic-stripe payment cards to the EMV chip card standard, Visa reported Wednesday that 3.7 million U.S. locations in June accepted EMV cards, compared with 3.5 million in March and 3.1 million last December. Some 80% of storefronts now accept chip cards, up from 75% and 68% in March and December, respectively, according to Visa.
Meanwhile, 72% of Visa’s active U.S. cards had a chip as of June. The June EMV card count totaled 521.7 million—212.6 credit cards and 309.1 million debit cards—compared with 511.1 million at the end of 2018.
Visa reported $84 billion in EMV payment volume for June, up by $3 billion from March but down from $88.9 billion in December, a seasonally heavy-spending month for the holidays. Consistent with its most recent preceding EMV reports, Visa said 99% of overall U.S. payment volume in June occurred on EMV cards.
For merchants that had completed their EMV point-of-sale terminal upgrades, dollars lost to counterfeit fraud had dropped by 87% as of March compared with September 2015, according to Visa. Over the same period, Visa says counterfeit fraud dollars lost by all U.S. merchants fell 62%, and its overall card-present fraud rate declined by 40%. The payment card networks’ EMV liability shifts took effect in October 2015 and transferred responsibility for counterfeit fraud to the merchant if a POS terminal couldn’t read an EMV card’s chip.
Visa’s latest report didn’t give data about contactless cards, though Visa chief executive Alfred Kelly has predicted network issuers will have 100 million such cards in circulation by the end of this year and 300 million by the end of 2020. Most current U.S. EMV cards have a contact chip that can be read only by inserting or “dipping” the card into an EMV terminal. A number of issuers, however, including leading credit card issuer JPMorgan Chase & Co., are committing to so-called dual-interface EMV cards with both a contact chip and a near-field communication antenna for contactless payments at EMV terminals.