U.S. EMV Timeline Beyond the Road Maps: How Long Will Conversion Really Take?


Mercator Advisory Group’s new research report, U.S. EMV Timeline Beyond the Road Maps: How Long Will Conversion Really Take? explains the motivation for the U.S. to adopt EMV at this time and clarifies the card networks’ road maps for U.S. EMV adoption. The report considers previous experiences (both with road maps other regions used for EMV adoption and road maps the U.S. used for other changes in its payment environment) to forecast a more realistic schedule for the U.S. conversion to EMV.


Published on: February 19, 2013
Author: David Kaminsky
Alternate Point of Contact: Amy Dunckelmann


In the spring of 2011, Visa issued a road map for the U.S. adoption of a smartcard-based payments ecosystem. Since then, the other three major U.S. payments networks have followed suit. These road maps provide milestones for merchants, acquirers, and processors, along with dates on which these milestones are expected to be met. In theory, the road maps should serve as a reasonable expectation for when the U.S. will fully adopt EMV, but judging by past experience, that likely won’t be the case.

“The roadmaps laid out by the networks intend to convert the U.S. payments ecosystem to EMV by 2015, four years after the first road map was developed,” says Dave Kaminsky, senior analyst in Mercator Advisory Group’s Emerging Technologies Advisory Service and author of the report. “Judging by the experience of other countries in trying to implement EMV, as well as the experience of the networks’ previous attempts to influence changes among U.S. merchants, that timeframe likely will not be met.”



  • Analysis of why the U.S. did not convert to EMV when many European countries did and why the U.S. is currently motivated to adopt EMV
  • Detailed breakdown of the current road map, including explanations of all major milestones, deadlines each network has set for each milestone, and penalties for noncompliance
  • Forecast of U.S. EMV conversion based on the networks’ timeline and the actual adherence of merchants, financial institutions, payments service providers, and consumers to previous timelines in the U.S. and abroad 

 This report is 24 pages long with nine exhibits.

Companies mentioned in the report include: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Europay, EMVco, and JCB.

Members of Mercator Advisory Group’s Emerging Technology Advisory Service have access to this report as well as the upcoming research for the year ahead,



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