Payment Card Acceptance Expanding Fast in Developing Markets

by Sarah Grotta 0

Finextra reports that growth of card acceptance in developing countries is experiencing a health growth cycle. Much of the growth is occurring in China where consumer demand for card acceptance is spreading to more and more rural locations:

According to RBR’s latest research, Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2021, the number of card-accepting merchant outlets worldwide rose by over 7 million in 2015 to 54 million. Growth was especially strong in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and central and eastern Europe (CEE) where payment card acceptance levels remain low.

There are two explanations for this growth. One is regulatory based:

RBR has found that regulatory factors are having a positive impact on acceptance levels in several countries. For example, in Malaysia a reform on interchange fees came into force during 2015, encouraging merchants to begin accepting cards. Meanwhile in Kazakhstan, legislation has been introduced which requires all merchants to accept card payments or face a financial penalty.

And the other is based in technology:

In addition, technological advances are stimulating greater card acceptance even in developed markets. Contactless is appealing to merchants that handle low-value payments and appreciate the reduced transaction times that the technology enables. Meanwhile, mPOS devices are improving acceptance among mobile merchants, such as taxis and tradespeople, for which fixed terminals are often not practical or cost-effective.

Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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