EMV chip card rollout in US to peak in 2016

While the number of EMV chip cards shipped in the U.S. surged in 2015, ahead of the Oct. 1 EMV migration deadline, that flow hasn't turned to a trickle. Far from it.

In 2016, the EMV chip card shipments in the U.S. are expected to peak at about 617 million, "but growth will be at a much flatter rate," says Phil Sealy, senior analyst at ABI Research, which tracks transformative technology innovations.

The reason? At the end of 2015, about 65 percent or 68 percent of U.S. consumers had received EMV chip cards, according to ABI Research. That's expected to reach near 100 percent over the next two years, Sealy says.

Trends on the horizon likely to drive chip card shipments in the U.S. include store cards converting from the old magnetic stripe to smart cards and chip cards enabled for contactless payments, a possible second wave in the years ahead.

Around the world, the U.S. wasn't alone in showing a boom in smart card shipments. In China, smart card shipments hit a record of nearly 850 million. The growth in China and U.S. shipments accounted for 53 percent of the total 2.6 billion EMV cards sent to customers worldwide in 2015, according to ABI Research.

EMV chip card shipments in the US 

See related: 8 FAQs about EMV chip cardsmore infographics

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Updated: 01-21-2019