China UnionPay debit cards have become the most popular payment method worldwide based on purchase volume in 2013, surpassing Visa cards for the first time.
According to the Global Cards annual report, published in the latest issue of The Nilson Report, purchases for goods and services from merchants grew by 22% to $15.42trn.
When comparing credit card purchase volume only, Visa’s market share of 39.22% was down 262 basis points. MasterCard’s share dropped 158 basis points to 26.08% while UnionPay’s share grew by 534 basis points to 20.39%.
Comparing debit card purchase volume only, UnionPay’s share increased 738 basis points to 47.19%, which made it the largest general purpose debit card issuer based on purchase volume.
Visa’s share fell 605 basis points to 40.62% and MasterCard’s declined by 133 basis points to 12.2%
In terms of global acceptance locations however, UnionPay is still in sixth position with around 19m points worldwide, before American Express (16m) but after MasterCard and Visa (38.1m), Discover/Diners, BC Card, RuPay (25.7m each) and JCB (25m), according to The Nilson Report.
UnionPay, established in 2002, is the national bankcard association in China.