IRISH CONSUMERS’ EXPENDITURE on Visa cards has risen to €15.5 billion for the first time – marking a 17 per cent increase on 2011 expenditure.
Visa Europe announced its annual results for the year ending 30 September 2012 today, saying there was a 43 per cent increase in the number of Visa cards – debit, credit and prepaid – in Ireland and there are now approximately 4.9 million Visa cards in the country. According to the results, €1 in every €7 of consumer spending in Ireland is now on a Visa card.
In addition, there was a 26 per cent increase in the number of transactions during the course of 2012, with 201 million transactions taking place during the twelve month period. Visa say Irish growth was driven from consumers becoming more comfortable paying with Visa cards – particularly for lower-value everyday purchases, and also the continued roll-out of Visa Debitcards to Irish consumers.
Visa said a number of major retailers had begun to offer contactless payments to consumers, with Bank of Ireland and AIB both offering Visa Debit contactless cards – which allow customers the opportunity to pay for transactions of €15 or less by simply touching their card to the terminal without the need to enter their PIN. Retailers like McDonalds, Insomnia, Arnotts, Boots, Centra, Spar, Eurospar, Mace and Marks & Spencer are now offering the service.
Total spend by Visa cardholders grew by 8.0 per cent to €1.3 trillion in the year ending 30 September 2012. This was underpinned by a 16 per cent growth in e-commerce, the fastest growing part of the Visa Europe business. Online spending on Visa cards in Europe topped €200 billion (€202 billion) for the first time and accounts for more than 20 per cent of Visa Europe’s business. The company says €1 in every €6.75 spent in Europe is on a Visa card.
The company said that, for the second year running, Visa Europe revenues exceeded €1billion (€1.11 billion) and the company achieved a pre-tax surplus of €260 million, which it says will be reinvested into the business and to improve capital and reserves.
“Visa Europe has performed strongly in the past year despite tough economic conditions, demonstrating the continued resilience of our business,” said Peter Ayliffe, Chief Executive of Visa Europe. “Debit, which accounts for almost 80 per cent of Visa card spending, continues to grow strongly while e-commerce has become the fastest growing part of our business and is set to grow further as the market continues to mature.”
“As we continue to see the explosive adoption of mobile devices, our priority in 2013 is to give consumers faster, safer mobile ways to pay,” he said.
Ayliffe highlighted Visa’s efforts to prepare and build the European payments infrastructure and new payment technologies over the past number of years: ” The year ahead will see us putting mobile contactless payments into consumers’ hands, and introducing digital wallets on a mass scale for the first time.
“We know that consumers and retailers trust Visa to deliver new technologies that are credible, secure and resilient. It is this combination of innovation and robust infrastructure which means Visa will remain at the forefront of payment technology in Europe,” he added.