announced that total volume for Visa consumer debit and prepaid
programs, including cash transactions, grew by 17.0 percent in 2006,
reaching US$2.68 trillion. This compares with a total volume of US$2.29
trillion for the same period in 2005. Debit and prepaid now account for
60 percent of Visa global total consumer volume and over 67 percent of
the number of Visa transactions, based on total consumer volume of
US$4.4 trillion and 59.9 billion total transactions.
Consumer debit and prepaid payment volume, (e.g., purchases at the point
of sale) totaled more than US$1.36 trillion in 2006, representing 16.3
percent growth year-over-year. The growth data suggests that consumers
around the world are increasingly looking to debit and prepaid payment
products to provide added convenience, security and flexibility.
To help Visa member financial institutions build on consumers’ growing
preference for debit and prepaid products, Visa has been working to
provide more innovative payment services, greater convenience, and the
flexibility to meet the needs of diverse and changing markets worldwide.
– Visa launched an innovative prepaid loading network in the U.S.,
enabling users to add value to their Visa prepaid cards through a
convenient network of more than 60,000 everyday shopping locations such
as supermarkets, drugstores and discount retailers.
– Visa has supported its member financial institutions in several
countries to develop cost-effective prepaid debit solutions to help
government agencies move away from inefficient paper-based payments. For
example, the Dominican Republic government is using Visa prepaid cards
to help centralize, monitor and control the distribution of subsidies to
low income families while providing more convenient access to benefits.
As part of this initiative, the government distributed nearly US$46
million in benefits through 216,000 Visa Electron prepaid cards in 2006.
– Investments in the debit and prepaid platform have enabled
greater flexibility for consumers and merchants. Participating Visa
issuers can now make a partial authorization for a transaction when the
prepaid balance is less than the total cost of the purchase. This allows
the consumer to use the entire value of the prepaid card and pay the
remaining cost of the purchase with another payment method.
– New technologies such as the contactless Visa payWave feature,
are also bringing greater convenience and speed to payments, such as in
the United States where Visa members have issued millions of contactless
“Visa debit and prepaid programs have continued to grow and now account
for more than 60 percent of all Visa volumes and over 67 percent of
transactions,” said Stacey Pinkerd, senior vice president, consumer
debit products, Visa USA. “With Visa debit and prepaid programs in more
than 160 countries around the world, financial institutions are able to
provide not only deposit account access but also innovative payment
options in areas such as payroll, money transfers, gifts, travel, and
Visa regions around the world also saw growth in debit and prepaid
volumes, including continued double-digit growth in the more mature
debit markets – Europe and the US:
– Visa Asia Pacific reported US$156 billion in total volume, a 31
percent increase over 2005
– Visa CEMEA (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa)
reported US$240 billion in total volume, a 40 percent increase
– Visa Europe reported US$1.16 trillion in total volume, a 13
– Visa LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) reported US$291
billion in total volume, a 17 percent increase
– Visa USA reported US$828 billion in total volume, a 14 percent
Growth in consumer preference for electronic payments over cash and
checks can also be seen in Visa’s share of the personal consumption
expenditures (PCE) index, which increased to 9.7 percent in June 2006,
from 8.6 percent in the previous year.
Visa announced its latest debit and prepaid figures at the Visa Global
Debit and Prepaid Forum, an annual event for member financial
institutions interested in debit and prepaid electronic payments. With
more than 350 delegates from 60 countries, the three-day event in
Copenhagen is focusing on “Mobilizing Market Trends; Growing Programs
that Build on Local Market Forces.” The forum showcases innovative Visa
debit and prepaid programs from around the world and provides practical
insights for building electronic payments, as well opportunities to see
and experience new payment technologies such as the Visa mobile payment
platform and NFC-enabled mobile phones.