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Visa Releases 2006 Global Debit Figures


Global debit and prepaid reach 60 percent of Visa’s total consumer volume

COPENHAGEN, Denmark / SAN FRANCISco.-Visa International announced today that total volume for Visa consumer debit and prepaid programs, including cash transactions, grew by 17.0 percent in 2006, reaching US$2.68 trillion. This compares with a total volume of US$2.29 trillion for the same period in 2005. Debit and prepaid now account for 60 percent of Visa global total consumer volume and over 67 percent of the number of Visa transactions, based on total consumer volume of US$4.4 trillion and 59.9 billion total transactions.

Consumer debit and prepaid payment volume, (e.g., purchases at the point of sale) totaled more than US$1.36 trillion in 2006, representing 16.3 percent growth year-over-year. The growth data suggests that consumers around the world are increasingly looking to debit and prepaid payment products to provide added convenience, security and flexibility.

To help Visa member financial institutions build on consumers’ growing preference for debit and prepaid products, Visa has been working to provide more innovative payment services, greater convenience, and the flexibility to meet the needs of diverse and changing markets worldwide.

Visa launched an innovative prepaid loading network in the U.S., enabling users to add value to their Visa prepaid cards through a convenient network of more than 60,000 everyday shopping locations such as supermarkets, drugstores and discount retailers.

Visa has supported its member financial institutions in several countries to develop cost-effective prepaid debit solutions to help government agencies move away from inefficient paper-based payments. For example, the Dominican Republic government is using Visa prepaid cards to help centralize, monitor and control the distribution of subsidies to low income families while providing more convenient access to benefits. As part of this initiative, the government distributed nearly US$46 million in benefits through 216,000 Visa Electron prepaid cards in 2006.

Investments in the debit and prepaid platform have enabled greater flexibility for consumers and merchants. Participating Visa issuers can now make a partial authorization for a transaction when the prepaid balance is less than the total cost of the purchase. This allows the consumer to use the entire value of the prepaid card and pay the remaining cost of the purchase with another payment method.

New technologies such as the contactless Visa payWave feature, are also bringing greater convenience and speed to payments, such as in the United States where Visa members have issued millions of contactless debit cards.

“Visa debit and prepaid programs have continued to grow and now account for more than 60 percent of all Visa volumes and over 67 percent of transactions,” said Gaylon Howe, executive vice president, Commercial Group, Visa International. “With Visa debit and prepaid programs in more than 160 countries around the world, financial institutions are able to provide not only deposit account access but also innovative payment options in areas such as payroll, money transfers, gifts, travel, and benefits disbursements.”

Visa regions around the world also saw growth in debit and prepaid volumes, including continued double-digit growth in the more mature debit markets - Europe and the US:

Visa Asia Pacific reported US$156 billion in total volume, a 31 percent increase over 2005

Visa CEMEA (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa) reported US$240 billion in total volume, a 40 percent increase

Visa Europe reported US$1.16 trillion in total volume, a 13 percent increase

Visa LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) reported US$291 billion in total volume, a 17 percent increase

Visa USA reported US$828 billion in total volume, a 14 percent increase

Growth in consumer preference for electronic payments over cash and cheques can also be seen in Visa’s share of the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, which increased to 9.7 percent in June 2006, from 8.6 percent in the previous year.

Visa announced its latest debit and prepaid figures at the Visa Global Debit and Prepaid Forum, an annual event for member financial institutions interested in debit and prepaid electronic payments. With more than 350 delegates from 60 countries, the three-day event in Copenhagen is focusing on “Mobilizing Market Trends; Growing Programs that Build on Local Market Forces.” The forum showcases innovative Visa debit and prepaid programs from around the world and provides practical insights for building electronic payments, as well opportunities to see and experience new payment technologies such as the Visa mobile payment platform and NFC-enabled mobile phones.


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