The total number of Visa credit and debit cards bearing an EMV chip numbered 408.1 million at the end of December, Visa announced Thursday. That’s a 2.1% increase from the 399.9 million tally at the end of November.

Of the total, 219.4 million are debit cards and 188.7 million are credit cards. The number of merchants accepting EMV cards also increased to 1.81 million, representing 39% of all merchant locations. Visa says 82% of this figure are small and mid-size businesses that account for 49% of total payment volume.

Volume, too, continues to increase. In December, Visa said there were 945.3 million chip transactions, a 17.3% increase from 805.9 million in November. Payment volume made with Visa chip cards increased to $53.8 billion, a 22.8% increase from $43.8 billion in November. Visa says 96% of Visa credit card payment volume was made with a chip card in December.

Since the Oct. 1, 2015 point-of-sale liability shift, Visa has regularly provided updates on the EMV migration.

EMV chip cards were introduced as a means to combat counterfeit card fraud. Visa says there has been a 52% decrease in counterfeit fraud at chip-enabled merchants in September compared to September 2015. That’s an improvement from a 45% reduction in August 2016 versus August 2015

by: Kevin Woodward via

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