We'll reach chip card saturation in 2020

While most Americans have a chip card in their wallet by now, it’s likely to take another five years before all U.S. transactions are made with the fraud-fighting card technology.

That’s according to the Mercator Advisory Group, which annually forecasts the number of EMV-enabled cards and how many chip transactions will be made in the coming years.

Chip card distribution began in earnest in the U.S. in 2015, and reached an estimated 58 percent saturation of all credit cards by year’s end. Yet, the dollar amount of actual chip transactions was a far lower proportion – just 15 percent – as retailers and small businesses have been much slower to adopt the technology than card issuers have been to roll it out.

Mercator projects that the distribution of chip cards will reach 84 percent by the end of 2016 and 95 percent in 2017. It will then inch slowly upward to reach 100 percent in 2020.

However, EMV-compliant transactions won’t reach full saturation until a year later. Indeed, chip transactions are not expected to break even 50 percent of total card transactions until 2017, followed by four more years of incremental ascent before all credit card volume is transacted with chip cards in 2021.

Mercator’s forecasts are based on quarterly performance data reported by the card networks, card issuers, merchants and point-of-sale terminal manufacturers, which it compares to data gathered from its annual consumer payments survey, conducted with more than 3,000 U.S. adults. Results were released Jul. 21, 2016.


EMV chip card saturation predicted by 2020
EMV chip card saturation predicted by 2020

See related: 8 FAQs about EMV chip cards


Join the discussion
We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company's business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

Weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, advice, articles and tips delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.

Updated: 04-21-2019