Contactless EMV Card Rollout in U.S. to Pick Up Speed in 2020, but Shape of Adoption Remains Unclear

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – With contactless EMV cards expected to have a significant footprint in the U.S. in 2020, the debate continues over whether the rollout will promote or harm take-up of NFC mobile payments and whether contactless open-loop transit payments will make a real impact on use of contactless at the retail point of sale.

Big U.S. banks finally started to issue dual-interface EMV cards in substantial numbers in 2019 and that rollout will accelerate in 2020. At the same time, more and more U.S. merchants–along a small but growing number of transit authorities–are accepting contactless EMV card and NFC payments. With this, it looks like the U.S. might finally begin to catch up with other developed countries in the use of contactless payments–although that process will be years in the making. Meanwhile, the shape of contactless adoption in the U.S. remains to be seen.   

An article this week from eMarketer, based on a report released by the firm earlier in the month, predicts that users of NFC mobile payments will account for just under one-third, or 30.6%, of all U.S. consumers carrying smartphones in 2020. While eMarketer set a low bar for what qualifies as NFC mobile payments users–those conducting at least one transaction every six months–the firm predicts that mobile NFC mobile payments will continue to grow in the U.S. And this growth won’t be impeded by use of contactless EMV cards, as has been the case in the UK, Canada, France and other countries, said the firm. 

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HEADLINE NEWS

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