A total of 205 billion card payments were made worldwide in 2013, a 13% increase compared with 2012, according to a new report from research and consulting firm Retail Banking Research (RBR).
The report, ‘Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts 2013-2019’, says that the growth was slightly higher than the 11% increase in card numbers to 10.8 billion.
The rise is due to an expansion of global physical and virtual merchant acceptance network, as well as a gradual migration from cash (and in some countries, cheques) to cards for everyday payments.
Cards in western Europe and North America continue to be used twice as frequently as in any other region, and these two regions together account for 63% of the global volume, compared to 25% of cards.
Despite accounting for more than half of cards, Asia-Pacific represents only 21% of card payments, and has the lowest average volume of any region at just eight per card per year.
The report said that the continued rapid growth in the Chinese market has led UnionPay’s global share to increase further to represent 38% of cards worldwide.
Visa and MasterCard brands represent 24% and 18% of cards worldwide, respectively. Of 4.1 billion cards UnionPay cards, more than 99% are in China.