Global payment card expenditure grew 13% in 2019 to USD 35 trillion

Thursday 8 October 2020 12:12 CET | News

New research from RBR has revealed spending on payment cards continues to grow strongly, with global payment card expenditure growing 13% last year, to USD 35 trillion.

There were a number of factors driving this impressive growth. In developing countries, government financial inclusion initiatives continue to encourage people to open bank accounts for the first time. In more mature markets, contactless is hastening moves away from use of cash, a trend which COVID-19 has accelerated in 2020, due to health and hygiene concerns.

UnionPay accounts for 45% of global cards spending, but only 1% outside China. This is largely driven by spending in China, the world’s largest market, where UnionPay accounts for 93% of the total. RBR’s report shows that spending on Chinese cards has continued to rise. The main reason for this is that debit cards, which have historically been used primarily for cash withdrawals, are increasingly being used for everyday payments.

Visa (including its sub-brands Visa Electron, V PAY and Interlink) and Mastercard (including Maestro and Mastercard Electronic) are the second and third largest schemes worldwide with 27% and 18% respectively. However, RBR’s analysis shows that if China is excluded, the picture is significantly different – Visa is then the largest scheme with 39%, followed by Mastercard with 32%.

Domestic schemes’ share rose slightly to 4%. Whilst such schemes remain relatively rare, they are growing fairly quickly, particularly in markets where new domestic schemes have been launched with backing from governments, such as Russia and India. Iran also operates a large domestic scheme, as international sanctions mean that cards issued in the country are domestic-only.

The rise of ecommerce provides further opportunities for international schemes As card expenditure returns to strong growth after COVID-19, it remains to be seen exactly how the schemes perform in relation to each other. 

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Keywords: card schemes, Domestic schemes, UnionPay, Visa, MasterCard, card payments, COVID-19, report, contactless payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce