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Growth in spending will be driven by a threefold increase in merchant outlets, a new RBR report says.
The value of card payments in Asia-Pacific grew 25 percent in 2014 to reach $9 trillion, accounting for just under half of the global total card expenditure. This finding comes from the RBR report "Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2020."
Between 2014 and 2020, RBR forecasts that the value of payments with cards issued in in the region will rise to $19.5 trillion, stimulated by nearly threefold growth in the number of merchant outlets, particularly in China.
The growth in value will be uneven across the region, as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have reached maturity in terms of card penetration but India, Indonesia and Pakistan are underdeveloped and still have substantial room to grow.
UnionPay is the largest card scheme in Asia-Pacific; its share of card expenditure rose from 65 percent to 70 percent in 2014, reflecting the rapid expansion of the Chinese cards market.
Visa and MasterCard account for 15 percent and 9 percent of the value of Asia-Pacific card payments. JCB makes up 2 percent overall.
The end of Union Pay's monopoly on bank card clearing in China has opened up the Chinese market to foreign players, and will result in increased competition for the scheme, RBR said.
Domestic schemes are issued in almost all countries in the region, but are generally used for cash withdrawals rather than payments and in most cases their share of payments is static or declining. According to the report, they make up less than 2 percent of value at a regional level.
The fastest expanding domestic scheme is India’s RuPay, operated by the National Payments Corporation of India. Introduced in 2012, the scheme had claimed 6 percent of India's card expenditure by the end of 2014.