Throughout the past year and a half, EMV has caused a lot of commotion within the payments industry. When the liability shift went into effect during the fall of 2015, very few merchants were prepared with EMV-compliant solutions in place. Although EMV has been a challenge to integrate here in the U.S., experts feel that 2017 will be a year where EMV improvements and adoption continue to progress.


Quick Chip Technology

Many key players have not been a fan of EMV technology due to the slightly longer time an EMV transaction takes to process. Compared to a traditional magnetic swipe, an EMV transaction takes several seconds longer to complete.


To help combat the slightly longer transaction times, quick chip technology was introduced to help speed up the checkout process for both merchants and consumers. Currently, each of the major credit card companies (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) has launched their own version of a quick chip or M/Chip, aimed to streamline payment processing. With quick chip, EMV transactions only take 2.5 seconds to complete.


“One of the biggest complaints off the bat was that EMV was too slow, taking 10-15 seconds,” says Perry Kramer, vice president and practice lead at Boston Retail Partners. “Now the EMV transactions have really gone back to the same speed as what it used to be with swipe transaction — from the consumer point of view, it has sped up dramatically.”


For merchants who have already deployed EMV terminals, only a minor software update from their payments provider is needed – no additional testing or certification is necessary, making it a seamless add-on for any pre-existing EMV terminals.


With quick chip technology becoming more widespread, EMV transactions in 2017 and beyond will certainly become faster and quicker for consumers to make purchases.


Increase of EMV Adoption

By the end of 2017, EMV adoption is expected to reach 99 percent within the U.S. This percentage is much higher than the 9 percent of merchants who adopted EMV by the end of 2015 and the 86 percent who integrated EMV by the end of 2016. A report conducted by Visa discovered that during November of 2016, over 800 million chip card transactions occurred - up 359% from 2015.


Growth of chip card transactions has increased between both merchants and consumers. To date, over 1.75 million Visa accepting merchants currently accept chip cards – up 1 million since November of 2016 and 110,000 since the preceding quarter. With more businesses continuing to adopt EMV, primarily due to the fraud protection benefits merchants receive, it’s possible this percentage will continue to increase at a steady pace.


As of March 2017, Visa has issued approximately 400 million chip cards throughout the U.S., up 105 percent from 2016. This amount roughly encompasses 47 percent of the total amount of Visa’s cards in the U.S. Like merchants, consumers have adapted to the changes chip cards and EMV have brought, including dipping their card instead of swiping at a terminal. Another Visa survey discovered that 35 percent of consumers feel that chip cards are the most secure form of payment today. Now that both merchants and consumers are on board with the adoption of EMV, it is clear that EMV will only continue to increase from here on out.


Although EMV started off with a bit rocky, 2017 has shown great promise that EMV technology is on the right track. The introduction of quick chip will greatly decrease the amount of time it takes to process a chip card, while EMV adoption has already shown growth with both merchants and consumers alike.