Global purchase transactions (PTX) for Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards soared 15.9% year-on-year (YOY) in the fourth quarter (4Q/18). The YOY growth rate has been steadily expanding each quarter. One-year ago the YOY PTX growth rate was 12.5%.
The two networks combined processed 69.1 billion purchase transactions in 4Q/18, compared to 65.6 billion for the third quarter and 59.6 billion one-year ago, according to figures collected by CardData.
Analysis by RAM Research reveals global PTX for Visa and Mastercard has doubled over the past four years, largely due the addition of Visa Europe in the second half of 2016. However, global PTX growth over the past two years has been driven by Mastercard credit and debit products, outpacing Visa YOY by more than 700 basis points (bps).
The Central Europe Middle East Africa (CEMEA) region, followed by Asia-Pacific (AP) has been the key drivers for Visa’s current PTX growth. The Europe and Asia-Pacific Middle East Africa (APMEA) regions have been the powerhouses for Mastercard’s recent global purchase transactions growth.
Visa Global PTX
Visa posted a 13.3% YOY gain in PTX to 44.4 billion for 4Q/18, compared to 42.5 billion for 3Q/18, and 39.2 billion for 4Q/17. One-year ago Visa global purchase transactions increased 10.4% YOY.
Visa’s Asia-Pacific (AP) region PTX increased 17.2% YOY to 7.5 billion in 4Q/18; Canada grew 11.1% YOY to 1.0 billion; Central Europe Middle East Africa (CEMEA) exploded 25.0% YOY to 4.5 billion; Latin America Caribbean (LAC) was up 9.4% YOY to 3.5 billion; and Europe rose 14.9% YOY to 10.0 billion. Visa U.S. reported an 8.5% YOY gain to 17.9 billion for 4Q/18 PTX.
Mastercard posted a 20.8% YOY gain in PTX to 24.7 billion for 4Q/18, compared to 23.1 billion for 3Q/18, and 20.5 billion for 4Q/17. One-year ago Mastercard global purchase transactions increased 16.7% YOY.
Mastercard’s Asia-Pacific Middle East Africa (APMEA) region PTX soared 20.8% YOY to 5.8 billion in 4Q/18; Canada grew 16.7% YOY to 0.7 billion; Europe exploded 29.2% YOY to 8.4 billion; and Latin America Caribbean (LAC) was up 19.0% YOY to 2.5 billion. Mastercard U.S. reported an 10.8% YOY gain to 7.2 billion for 4Q/18 PTX.
While there is some wavering in the health of Asian economies and rising concerns over global tariffs and higher interest rates, the outlook for consumer spending remains bright for 2019.
Consumer confidence is a mixed bag around the globe for the start of 2019. Consumer confidence in the U.S. is “rebounding,” while the U.K. is “weak,” “rising” in Australia, “strong” in Canada, down to the “lowest level in more than two years” in Japan, and “pessimistic” in India.
Visa + MasterCard Global Purchase Transactions
4Q/15: 40,773 million
4Q/16: 53,029 million
4Q/17: 59,635 million
4Q/18: 69,097 million
Visa Global Purchase Transactions
4Q/15: 24,620 million
4Q/16: 35,496 million
4Q/17: 39,181 million
4Q/18: 44,380 million
MasterCard Global Purchase Transactions
4Q/15: 16,153 million
4Q/16: 17,533 million
4Q/17: 20,454 million
4Q/18: 24,717 million