Annual spend on Visa debit cards across Europe has exceeded EUR1tn for the first time. The figure represents an annual increase of 8.8%, reports payments technology company Visa Europe, which today announces its annual results for the year ending 30 September 2012.
Despite the challenging economic climate, total spend by Visa cardholders grew by 8.0% to EUR1.3tn. This was underpinned by a 16% growth in e-commerce, the fastest growing part of the Visa Europe business. Online spending on Visa cards in Europe topped EUR200bn for the first time and accounts for more than 20% of Visa Europe’s processed business. EUR1 in every EUR6.75 spent in Europe is on a Visa card, a figure that rises to GBP1 in every GBP3 in the UK.
Growth was also strong in other core areas of the Visa Europe business, with spending on commercial cards increasing by 17.6% and on prepaid cards by 18.3%.
In the UK, total spend increased by 6.1% to GBP407bn with spend on debit cards increasing by 7.1% to GBP360bn. E-commerce grew by 11.5% to GBP96bn, representing almost a quarter of total spend.
2013 will see the rollout of V.me by Visa, Visa’s first integrated digital wallet, in the UK, France and Spain. In the UK, banks representing 80% of all consumers are already committed, while by 2020, Visa Europe believes that one-third of all European consumers will be using the V.me wallet.
V.me by Visa allows consumers to complete online transactions through the internet browser on their smart phones, tablets, PCs or laptops, using cards from multiple providers. The service will continue to evolve to incorporate other Visa payment technologies, including contactless transactions at the point of sale and p2p payments.
2013 will also see the continued rollout of contactless payments for card and mobile devices. Contactless transactions in Europe quadrupled in 2012 and Visa Europe expects to repeat this growth in 2013. Across Europe, in 2013, there will be 40 issuers offering mobile contactless payment services to consumers and by the end of 2013 around 80 types of smartphone will be certified by Visa to carry out contactless payments
Peter Ayliffe, Chief Executive, Visa Europe said:
“Debit, which accounts for almost 80% of Visa card spending in Europe, continues to grow strongly while e-commerce has become the fastest growing part of our business and is set to grow further as the market continues to mature.
“We have benefited from our investment in technology and security, which not only helped us deliver 100% processing availability and record low levels of fraud in 2012, but also enabled us to showcase mobile contactless payments at the London Olympics. This investment also underpins the rollout of new payment technologies in 2013.
“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.
“In the UK, where a quarter of all Visa card spend is online, banks representing the vast majority of UK consumers are lined up to launch V.me in 2013, providing a faster, simpler and safer way to pay online.”
Just under three quarters (71%) of European banks and retailers are planning to boost their spending on payment tech within the next two years amid mounting pressure in the market and demand for faster, more secure payments tech from customers.
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