Visa reports the number of EMV (chip) cards in the U.S. nearly doubled in 2016, topping 408 million payments cards.
Of the 408.1 million Visa chip cards circulating in the U.S., 188.7 million are credit cards and 219.4 million are debit cards.
There were nearly 1 billion Visa chip transactions in December, a 310% annual increase. About 96% of Visa credit payment volume was done on chip cards in December 2016.
Visa notes the number of merchants who implemented chip-enabled terminals more than doubled, totaling 1.81 million, a 135% YOY increase. This represents 39% of all merchant locations— with 82% of them being small- and medium-sized businesses—and 49% of total payment volume.
Furthermore, results show that counterfeit fraud has been declining—52% at chip-enabled merchants and 14% across all merchants.
Visa introduced Quick Chip technology last year to not only speed up chip transactions at checkout but also help expedite merchant chip implementation. Thousands of merchants, including New Leaf Community Markets, a chain of grocery stores, and Brookstone, a U.S. specialty retailer, have implemented Quick Chip with great success.
In November 2016 Visa stated for U.S. EMV enabled debit cards, merchants have flexibility to use either the U.S. Common Debit AID or the Visa AID. Merchants are never required to ask the cardholder to choose the AID for processing debit transactions. Merchants can exclusively route U.S. debit transactions using the U.S. Common Debit AID if they so choose. Merchants are never required to use the Visa AID to process U.S. debit transactions.
Merchants can promote their preferred verification method, including by discouraging the use of signature. Where merchants automatically prompt for PIN on card-present transactions, they must minimally ensure that a cardholder presenting a Visa Debit card for payment can originate a transaction using a signature (or “no CVM”) even if the cardholder is prompted or steered to enter a PIN. Regardless of the verification method, merchants may use the U.S. Common Debit AID for those networks enabled by the issuer on the card and route to the network of their choosing. This is true for any cardholder verification method, including PIN, signature, and “no CVM.”