Visa today announced for the first time cardholders in Europe exceeded the €1 trillion (US$1.33 trillion) mark in annual expenditures on their Visa-branded debit cards between September 2011 and 2012. The annual increase in spending represents an 8.8 percent increase from the prior year and was fueled by strong growth in e-commerce, commercial cards, and prepaid cards despite the continuing poor economic conditions in many European countries.
Cardholder spending among the e-commerce segment also reached new record highs, with total expenditure topping €200 billion ($266 billion) for the first time and representing 16 percent growth from the previous year.
Commenting on the performance of both the debit and e-commerce segment, Peter Ayliffe, chief executive of Visa Europe said:
“Debit, which accounts for almost 80% of Visa card spending, has maintained strong growth while e-commerce is the fastest growing part of our business and is set to grow further as the market continues to mature.”
However, other Visa segments witnessed even superior growth, with spending on commercial cards and prepaid cards increasing by 17.6 percent and 18.3% respectfully.
In the announcement, Visa also highlighted the 2013 deployment of V.me, the company’s first fully integrated digital wallet in the U.K., France and Spain. Visa has high hopes for the digital wallet, as the company expects that by 2020, one-third of all European consumers will be using the V.me wallet. However, the V.me wallet is not the only major development planned for Visa in 2013, the company plans to continue broad deployment of contactless payments for card and mobile devices as contactless transactions across Europe quadrupled in 2012 and is expected to repeat that performance again this year.
“The past six years have been about preparing and building the European payments infrastructure to support European commerce and the delivery of new payment technologies. The year ahead will see us putting mobile contactless payments into consumers’ hands and introducing digital wallets on a mass scale for the first time.”
Despite difficult ongoing economic conditions across Europe, Visa Europe enjoyed robust growth across a number of different segments, resulting in the fact that for every €6.75 ($9.00) spent in Europe, €1 ($1.33) is on a Visa branded card. If Visa continues to experience strong growth among traditional card segments and with the addition of the digital wallet as well as further contactless payment roll out, there should be no reason that 2013 does not further exceed 2012’s historic results.
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