The independently owned European arm of Visa reported revenue of EUR1.1bn during the 12 months to September 30, representing an increase of 10.8 per cent from EUR1bn in the preceding year. Spending on Visa debit cards across the European continent exceed the EUR1tn mark for the first time, increasing 8.8 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier. The UK accounted for GBP360bn of the total European spend on debit cards, increasing by 7.1 per cent over the year.
E-commerce has been driving growth; with online Visa spend increasing by 16 per cent, reaching EUR200bn. Britain has the strongest e-commerce industry in Europe, accounting for a quarter of all spend on a Visa card. Visa Europe chief executive Peter Ayliffe said, “Debit, which accounts for almost 80 per cent 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”.
Visa Europe did report a decline for year on year new processing agreements, with just 505 signed during 2012, compared with the 1,285 in 2011. Point of sale spending volumes has also decreased from 17.2 per cent to 9.1 per cent, largely due to the impact of the economic climate on high street retailers.
A company profiting from the rise of e-commerce is Surrey-based Direct Debit Bureau, SmartDebit. They have reported a significant increase in the adoption of their online direct debit facility, as organisations recognise the increasing trend of online shopping. A spokesperson from the firm commented, “The latest report from Visa is further evidence in the movement towards a cashless society. Whilst technology evolves with contactless payments and mobile wallet for one off payments, the popularity of Direct Debit for recurring payments is also showing growth year on year. Our hosted and API solutions are proving key factors for clients to embrace the automated Direct Debit payment method to meet the popularity of e-commerce amongst today’s consumers”.
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