Almost a year after the U.S. payment card industry adopted EMV chip cards for point-of-sale transactions, approximately 44% of U.S. merchants that accept credit and debit cards have EMV POS terminals. That assessment, in The Strawhecker Group’s latest EMV survey released Tuesday, is less than an earlier estimate that put EMV adoption at 50% of U.S. merchants. Now, Strawhecker, an Omaha, Neb.-based payments consultancy, predicts that the adoption figure will hit 51% by December. Still, more than a third of the EMV-equipped merchants have terminals capable of contactless payments, and more than a quarter have activated the tap-and-pay feature, according to the data. Contactless readiness is widely seen as a prerequisite for mobile-payments acceptance.