Payment cards worldwide will total 22B by 2020, Nilson Report says

Sept. 26, 2016

Credit, debit and prepaid cards in circulation worldwide totaled more than 18.08 billion at the end of 2015, an increase of 5.8 percent over 2014, according to The Nilson Report.

These cards include global general-purpose brands such as American Express; Discover/Diners Club; JCB; Maestro; MasterCard; UnionPay; and Visa.

They also include domestic general-purpose cards usable only within a particular country, such as RuPay (India); Elo (Brazil); Interac (Canada); BC Card (Korea); eftpos (Australia); Cartes Bancaire (France); and others.

Private label credit, debit and prepaid cards for stores, fuel, airlines, medical and more are also included.

Global brand cards accounted for 60.79 percent of payment cards worldwide at the end of 2015. UnionPay cards accounted for 30.10 percent of the worldwide total of all payment cards. Visa cards accounted for 16.42 percent, MasterCard cards accounted for 8.71 percent. Amex, Discover/Diners Club, JCB, and Maestro combined accounted for 5.57 percent.

Domestic general-purpose cards accounted for 5.53 percent of the worldwide total. Private label cards accounted for 33.69 percent of the total.

"By 2020, payment cards are expected to increase 21.3 percent to 21.93 billion," said David Robertson, publisher of The Nilson Report. "MasterCard and UnionPay are projected to be the only global general purpose brands to increase their share — MasterCard growing 67 basis points to 9.37 percent, and UnionPay growing 248 basis points to 32.57 percent. RuPay and Elo are projected to lead domestic general-purpose cards, collectively gaining 96 basis points to 2.79 percent."


Topics: Debit / Credit, Trends / Statistics


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