€1 in every €3 to be spent on Visa

Visa is anticipating that by 2015 €1 in every €3 spent by Irish consumers will be via one of its products — credit, debit, or pre-paid cards.

New figures, released yesterday by the company, show that €1 in every €7 spent here during 2012 was done so with a Visa card.

That figure has improved, for the company, in the past couple of years — with it being €1 in ever €11 in 2010 and €1 in every €8 in 2011. Already, £1 in every £3 spent in Britain is done so via Visa products.

Last year saw a 43% increase in the number of Visa cards in circulation in Ireland, to 4.9m; something significantly helped by Bank of Ireland and AIB adopting Visa as their debit card provider.

Additionally, there was a 13% rise in point-of-sale spend, using Visa cards, in Ireland last year to €11.6bn; and a 17% rise in total expenditure to €15.5bn — a record for Visa in Ireland.

Conor Langford, Visa Europe’s vice president for Ireland, said that while the adoption of Visa as the preferred debit card services provider by the main banks grew business significantly last year.

Consumers becoming more comfortable with using cards, in general, for financial transactions has also helped.

On a wider basis, Visa Europe — which covers more than 30 territories — yesterday reported a 10% increase in annual revenue, for 2012, to just over €1.1bn. The firm made a pre-tax profit of €260m, during the year, up by nearly 8% on the €241m generated during 2011. Visa Europe’s capital and reserves levels also increased — from €738m to €980m.

Total spend by Visa cardholders, on a pan-European basis, grew by 8%, last year, to €1.3tn. This was underpinned by a 16% growth in e-commerce-based transactions; the fastest growing part of the Visa Europe business. Online spending, using Visa cards, topped the €200bn mark — across Europe — for the first time last year, and now accounts for more than 20% of the group’s European business.

Visa will build on that, this year, with the roll-out of its ‘V.me’ ‘integrated digital wallet’ product, which will allow consumers to complete online transactions using any of their cards with one click from their PC, laptop, or smartphone.

The service will launch in Britain, Spain, France, and Ireland this year — Ireland by the autumn.

The company maintains that 50% of all transactions, concerning its customers, will be made via mobile devices by 2020.

In Ireland, Visa is also set to further push the concept of contactless payments — where consumers can swipe their cards over payment terminals rather than manually enter their PIN, on transactions of €15 or less; Marks & Spencer — last week — becoming the latest retailer to offer such a capability in-store.


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