Processed or switched transactions (TX) in the fourth quarter (4Q/18), for Visa and Mastercard combined, globally, remains in double-digits year-on-year (YOY), hovering around a 12% growth rate. MasterCard, is by far running away with significant YOY gains over Visa, posting a 700 basis points (bps) spread over Visa in 4Q/18 for processed switched transactions.
Combined Visa and MasterCard processed 54,055 million transactions in 4Q/18, representing an 12.0% YOY gain. For the prior quarter, the two networks switched 51,588 million transactions, and compared to 48,247 million transactions one-year ago, according to data collected by CardData.
The YOY aggregate gains of the two networks, excluding the impact of the Visa Europe acquisition in 2016, has remained fairly solid: 10.6% in 4Q/14; 9.0% for 4Q/15; 14.2% for 4Q/17 and 12/0% for 4Q/18, according recent analysis by RAM Research.
Visa’s processed transactions for 4Q/18 were up 11.2% YOY, compared to 12.3% YOY in 3Q/18, and 11.6% YOY for 4Q/17.
Visa reported 33,931 million transactions for the fourth quarter, compared to 32,763 million for the prior quarter, and 30,508 million for the year ago quarter.
For 4Q/14 Visa reported 17,599 million transactions and for 4Q/13 15,985 million transactions.
Visa data represent transactions using cards and other form factors carrying the Visa, Visa Electron, V PAY, Interlink and PLUS brands processed on Visa’s networks.
Visa acquired Visa Europe in the the third quarter of 2016.
Mastercard’s processed transactions for 4Q/18 were up 18.4% YOY, compared to 16.6% YOY in 3Q/18, and 16.6% YOY for 4Q/17.
Mastercard reported 20,124 million switiched transactions for the fourth quarter, compared to 18,825 million for the prior quarter, and 17,739 million for the year ago quarter.
For 4Q/14 Mastercard reported 11,562 million switched transactions and for 4Q/13 10,372 million transactions.
Excluding Venezuela, Mastercard YOY gain is 19% for 4Q/18, 16% for 3Q/18 and 15% for 4Q/17.
While global payment card activity is growing solidly, there are some cracks in the equation evolving as the economy softens.
The year-over-year change in U.S. credit card debt, slowed dramatically in the last three months of 2018, from a revised 11.6% in October, to a revised 5.6% in November and 2.0% in December, according to CardTrak.
The latest consumer credit statistics released by the Bank of England (BOE), reveals annual consumer credit growth slowed to 6.6% in December, reflecting the continuation of relatively weak flows of new lending. The net monthly flow in December fell to £0.7 billion, reflecting less extra borrowing on credit cards.
Analysis by RAM Research reveals credit card lending growth (seasonally adjusted) has been slowing eroding in the U.K. throughout 2018, from 9.4% YOY in January to 7.1% YOY for December.
The amount Australians owe declined 1.9% year-on-year (YOY) in December, compared to a YOY decline of 0.2% in November, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia. The amount of purchases slipped 1.2% YOY in December, compared to a 1.0% YOY drop in the prior month.
Visa + Mastercard Global Processed/Switched Transactions
4Q/13: 26,357 million
4Q/14: 29,162 million
4Q/15: 31,777 million
4Q/16: 42,529 million*
4Q/17: 48,247 million*
4Q/18: 54,055 million*
Visa + Mastercard Global Processed/Switched Transactions YOY Change
Visa Global Processed/Switched Transactions
4Q/13: 15,985 million
4Q/14: 17,599 million
4Q/15: 18,986 million
4Q/16: 27,329 million*
4Q/17: 30,508 million*
4Q/18: 33,931 million*
Visa Global Processed/Switched Transactions YOY Change
Mastercard Global Processed/Switched Transactions
4Q/13: 10,372 million
4Q/14: 11,562 million
4Q/15: 12,971 million
4Q/16: 15,200 million
4Q/17: 17,739 million* 4Q/18: 20,124 million*
Mastercard Global Processed/Switched Transactions YOY Change
Mastercard Global Processed/Switched Transactions YOY Change Excluding Venezuela
Source: Visa; Mastercard; RAM Research; CardData
*Impact of Visa Europe Acquisition
**One more day in this period vs. the same period the previous year
*** One less day in this period vs. the same period the previous year