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Global e-payment cards generate $3trn purchase transactions

By Babajide Komolafe

Consumers around the world used the six global electronic payment cards to make 227 billion purchases valued at $3.11 trillion in 2015.

File: Banking hall
File: Banking hall

The six cards are Visa, UnionPay, MasterCard, JCB, Diners Club/Discover and American Express.

This was revealed in the Global Card report 2015 published by The Nilson Report, the top trade newsletter covering the card and mobile payment industries.

The report indicated while the volume of purchase transactions, which includes all commercial and consumer credit, debit, and prepaid cards via the six cards rose by 16.1 percent, the value of transactions rose by 18 percent.

Cash advances on credit cards
The report stated, “Purchase volume for goods and services, which excludes cash advances on credit cards and cash withdrawals on debit cards, grew by 18.0 percent or $3.110 trillion in 2015.

“Visa cards, which include both Visa Inc. and Visa Europe, accounted for 55.52 percent of all purchase transactions worldwide. Debit cards with the Visa brand continued to account for the most purchase transactions with a share of 35.50 percent, followed by Visa credit cards with 20.02 percent, MasterCard credit cards with 13.14 percent, MasterCard debit cards with 13.13 percent, UnionPay credit cards with 6.79 percent, UnionPay debit cards with 6.00 percent, and American Express cards with 3.21 percent.
JCB cards with 1.23 percent overtook Diners Club/Discover cards with 0.98 percent. Commenting on the results, David Robertson, Publisher of The Nilson Report said, “When consumers worldwide reach into their wallets for a payment card, more than half of the time, they use a Visa card.”

“UnionPay continued to have the highest percentage increase in purchase transactions. Last year UnionPay credit and debit card purchase transactions at merchants grew by 47.0 percent. Its year-over-year growth of 9.28 billion transactions topped the 8.09 billion increase for MasterCard but trailed an increase of 13.16 billion for Visa.

“Debit and prepaid cards accounted for 54.63 percent of purchase transactions, up from 54.05 percent in 2014. Visa purchase transactions were 63.95 percent debit, up from 63.71 percent. MasterCard purchase transactions were 49.98 percent debit, up from 47.86 percent. UnionPay purchase transactions were 46.90 percent debit, up from 46.00 percent.

“UnionPay debit cards were the most popular payment product based on purchase volume, followed by Visa credit cards, which overtook Visa debit cards. The fourth largest was UnionPay credit cards, followed by MasterCard credit cards, MasterCard debit cards, and American Express credit cards.

“Credit, debit, and prepaid cards in circulation totaled 10.25 billion at the end of 2015, up 8.2 percent over year-end 2014. UnionPay accounted for 53.07 percent of global brand cards in circulation, up from 52.09 percent, followed by Visa with 28.95 percent, down from 30.23 percent, MasterCard with 15.35 percent, up from 14.96 percent, American Express with 1.15 percent, down from 1.18 percent, JCB with 0.91 percent, down from 0.93 percent, and Diners Club/Discover with 0.56 percent, down from 0.60 percent.
Of the total cards in circulation, 75.94 percent were debit, up from 74.61 percent. Debit cards in circulation grew by 716.3 million compared to a 61.4 million increase for credit cards.”


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