MasterCard: 67% of branded credit cards now feature EMV chips

Dive Brief:

  • Two-thirds of MasterCard-branded credit cards issued to U.S. consumers now integrate EMV chips, the payment company announced in a Thursday press release.
  • The number of MasterCard consumer cards supporting EMV has increased 51% in the six months since a liability shift requiring U.S. retailers to upgrade their point-of-sale terminals to accept smart chip-enabled EMV cards, the company said.
  • About 1.2 million U.S. merchant locations are now accepting EMV payments, an increase of 121% over the last six months, according to MasterCard.

Dive Insight:

MasterCard, one of the three payment giants who developed the chip-integrated EMV standard (along with Europay and Visa), said Thursday that 67% of its U.S.-issued credit cards now feature the chips.

Each time a chip-enabled card is used, it creates a unique and dynamic transaction that’s significantly more fraud-resistant than swiping credit and debit cards with magnetic strips. “Other countries that have already adopted chips have seen significant reductions in counterfeit card fraud over time—as much as 60, 70 or even 80%,” Catherine Murchie, MasterCard’s senior vice president of North American Enterprise Security Solutions, said in a press release.

But just because MasterCard is issuing EMV-enabled cards to its customers doesn’t mean consumers know their credit cards have evolved, or even particularly care.

Despite the payments industry’s efforts to champion EMV and its security benefits, 41% of Americans surveyed by personal finance website CardHub said they haven’t received or don’t know if they’ve received an EMV card.

Even more problematic, 56% of respondents told CardHub they don't care if a retailer allows swipe payments, and 40% said EMV isn't a deciding factor in their shopping decisions. In addition, half of respondents didn’t know if EMV cards are better at preventing fraud than swipe cards, and 96% expressed willingness to shop at retailers that continue to permit swipe payments. 

While MasterCard notes that the number of U.S. merchants accepting EMV has surged in recent months, 42% of retailers nationwide still have not upgraded any of their equipment to handle chip-and-PIN cards, per CardHub data, and another 24% have converted less than half of their terminals since the Oct. 1 deadline.

Retailers that fail to implement EMV card support could be liable for more than $8 billion in fraudulent transactions each year. But as merchant adoption and consumer usage become more widespread, EMV should help the retail community sidestep the kinds of catastrophic security breaches suffered by Target and Home Depot in recent years.

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Filed Under: Technology Consumer Trends Payments Loss Prevention & Security
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