EMV (Europay MasterCard Visa) is a worldwide standard for payment cards that provides global interoperability between all cards and the acceptance networks (Payment Terminals). The EMV standard is also applicable to mobile payment solutions such as mobile EMV with NFC (Near-field-communication).
EMV Payment is based on chip&PIN technology i.e. the use of a secure element (Certified Silicon chip) and a PIN code used by the cardholder to secure his/her payment transactions. A vast majority of countries have already experienced a migration from their key financial institutions from an older technology based on cards using a magnetic stripe to store the cardholder credentials to the more secure, more interoperable EMV cards that can be used across the world. The rationale and motivation for this motivation is threefold: First the level of fraud is drastically reduced in markets where EMV is deployed, second cardholders can use their payment cards when travelling abroad thanks to the ubiquity of service of the EMV global architecture, and third there is an incentive to migrate to EMV support for merchants who don't want to bear the financial liability of fraud such as markets that are supporting older magnetic stripe technology.
Security-wise, EMV DDA (Dynamic Data Authentication) offers best in class security with common criteria certification establishing a clear and know benchmark to measure security. The EMV standard supports both contact and contactless transactions, enabling new applications such as contactless payment and also "combi-cards" with multiple services such as Payment + Transport.