MasterCard passes 300 million mark for EMV cards shipped

Source: MasterCard

MasterCard Worldwide announced today the achievement of a major milestone with more than 300 million EMV chip-based MasterCard cards across the world.

Importantly, MasterCard year-end 2007 results reveal that these EMV chip cards are now accepted with a dip of the chip at over eight million locations around the world.

While Europe continues to be at the heart of the EMV chip-based issuance and acceptance with significant numbers of POS and ATM terminals supporting the EMV card base. Much of the growth over the last twelve months has come from other regions such as Asia-Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

Globally, approximately one in every five MasterCard-branded cards (MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus) now carry an EMV chip with nearly a quarter of all Point-of-Sale devices upgraded to accept these cards.

Regional EMV 'hot-spots'

In 2007 chip migration activity in various parts of the world included:

Europe - At the end of 2007, half of all MasterCard-branded cards were EMV chip enabled. EMV acceptance penetration stood at 68 percent of all Point-of-Sale terminals and well over half (56%) of all ATMs in Europe. As an additional driver for this increased migration activity, the introduction of the Single Euro(pean) Payments Area Card Framework mandates use of EMV enabled cards and acceptance terminals across the SEPA zone by December 31st, 2010.

Commenting on the migration milestone, Toni Merschen, senior vice president and group head of the MasterCard Worldwide Chip Centre of Excellence, said; "European banks have helped to lay the foundation for a smart and secure future for card payments through EMV but more importantly, they are now building upon this with exciting consumer and merchant-focused initiatives for which the smart EMV chip is the catalyst for change."

"We've seen greater than ever adoption of value-added chip-based solutions from MasterCard Worldwide, including dual interface contactless cards with MasterCard PayPass for quick and low value payments, as well as the roll out of the Chip Authentication Program, which brings chip and PIN authentication into card-not-present purchasing situations," Dr. Merschen added.

Asia Pacific - In Asia-Pacific, the growth rate of EMV chip cards over the past two years has exceeded 70 percent, whilst having reached over 150% on the EMV POS acceptance side. Migration to EMV in Asia is driven by fraud prevention across the region, government mandates in specific countries such as Malaysia (2006), Korea (2008) and Indonesia (2010). Competitive differentiation between banks in countries such as Taiwan, Korea and Malaysia is also fueling the introduction of multi-application cards in the region. More banks in new EMV countries such as Hong Kong and Australia are now in full migration mode.

Contactless functionality is also increasing in demand across Asia Pacific, particularly in countries such as Malaysia and Korea. Variations on this include Taiwan and Korea, with contactless for transit as well as retail payments. Japan is central to the region's introduction of EMV chip cards for securing non face-to-face transactions.

Latin America - The Latin American region has probably witnessed some of the highest growth over the past two years, with over 400% growth in EMV chip cards and close to 100% increase in POS acceptance. This considerable growth can be attributed to a significant amount of customers who have begun issuing EMV chip cards in countries such as Brazil and Mexico. Banks in other countries such as Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama and the Caribbean are also in various stages of chip technology migration execution. The trend to leverage EMV chip for additional customer benefits (such as contactless payments and secure card-not-present authentication) is growing in importance in this region as well.

South Asia Middle East and Africa - A number of markets are experiencing significant EMV chip card growth based primarily on EMV acceptance infrastructure deployment, which has exceeded 450 percent over the past two years. In South Africa, POS terminal deployment has reached critical mass encouraging banks to commence EMV card issuance. In the United Arab Emirates, EMV card issuance increased tremendously in 2007 - the resulting EMV infrastructure has led to three contactless PayPass and a chipbased loyalty programme being launched. In the tourist destination markets of Morocco
and Mauritius, meaningful deployment of EMV ATMs and POS devices now enables tourists and locals alike to experience the advantages of EMV cards while on vacation. In India continued deployment of the EMV acceptance infrastructure has resulted in cobranded chip based loyalty programs to flourish.

Canada - Finally, Canada continues to prepare its roll-out of EMV Chip technology on all cards, POS and ATM devices. Three MasterCard acquirers and one MasterCard issuer have already begun field deployment of EMV Chip POS terminals and EMV cards, and several other market players are preparing to run a public trial with these organizations in the Spring of 2008.

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