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EMVCo: 1.3 billion EMV payment cards in global circulation

Thursday 26 January 2012


Meanwhile, according to a report by Global Industry Analysts, a growing number of developing world economies are expected to jump on the consumer credit bandwagon, with the number of credit card holders worldwide expected to reach 2.7 billion by 2015. Emerging economies like China, Brazil and India have weathered the financial upheaval significantly better than their Western counterparts. This could be attributed to low credit card penetration because these economies do not heavily rely on consumer credit.

The number of payment cards in Western Europe increased to 884 million in 2010, according to the latest edition of RBR’s “Payment Cards Western Europe 2012” study. The total number of cards in the region rose by 2%, or 19 million cards, in 2010, after a flat 2009 when many consumers and businesses turned to cash and while banks rationalized their card portfolios. The prepaid and debit card sectors saw strong growth, expanding in almost all of the markets surveyed, while the pay later sector contracted for the second consecutive year.

The number of payments made with cards in Western Europe totaled 37 billion in 2010. Card payments grew faster than card numbers, as cards increasingly displace cash at retailers. In Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland and Turkey the total volume of card payments increased at double-digit pace. Two countries of 17 covered in the research, the UK and France, together accounted for 44% of all card payments in the region.


By the end of 2010, over 10 million EFTPOS terminals had been deployed in Western Europe. The rapid expansion in Turkey’s issued card base has been accompanied by a strong increase in card acceptance levels, and this market saw the largest increase in terminal numbers. Overall, there were an average of 85 cards per EFTPOS terminal, although at a country level, densities varied widely from 41 in Greece to 144 in Germany.