Global Credit Card Transactions on the Rise
Global credit card transactions are on the rise, showing a 13% increase from 2012 to 2013. Approximately 205 billion transactions were made on credit cards last year, according to the RBR consulting firm in London.
Over the same period, the number of payment cards on the market rose by 11%, bringing the total to 10.8 billion. This is expected to further increase in the next few years as America converts to EMV card technology.
The RBR report said, “If average usage per card worldwide were to reach the levels currently seen in North America and western Europe, half a trillion payments in a year would be attained, even with no increase in card numbers. This may well be seen sooner rather than later.”
North America and Western Europe account for 63% of credit card usage, even though they only hold 25% of the cards. By comparison, the Asia-Pacific region holds 50% of all cards but only makes up 21% of the transactions.
China alone supported more than 4.1 billion payment cards in 2013, up 19% from 2012. As a result, UnionPay, a Chinese credit card processor, is the world’s largest with 38% of the market. Visa is second with 24% of credit cards, and MasterCard third with 18%.
As the world continues to transition into a cashless society, the global credit market is expected to keep growing.