India is second in Asian use of debit, prepaid cards

Mumbai, May 29 | Updated: May 30 2007, 05:30am hrs
Among the Asia Pacific nations, India occupied the second place in debit and prepaid cards transaction volume in calendar year 2006. During the period Visa International Asia Pacific has seen 31% growth in its debit and prepaid card spending. This growth in the Asia Pacific is almost twice the global rate in 2006.

Visa International Asia Pacific reported that the total card sales volume for its consumer debit and prepaid programs for 2006 including cash transactions was $156 billion for the year ended 2006, a 31% increase over 2005.

Consumers in Australia, India and Thailand were the top three debit and prepaid markets in the Asia Pacific last year for transaction volume, accounting for more than 62% of the total debit and prepaid retail sales and cash transactions, a release from the company said.

Santanu Mukherjee, country manager, South Asia, Visa International Asia Pacific, said, In India, debit or prepaid programs have shown good consumer take-up and at the end of last year, seven out of 10 Visa cards in India were debit or prepaid. Whether it is for small value transactions, remittances or person-to-person transfers, these products provide utility, ubiquity, security and value to consumers, merchants and the industry.

The total card sales volume for Visa consumer debit and prepaid programs globally grew by 17% in 2006 to $2.68 trillion, the release said. This equals 60% of Visa global total consumer volume and more than 67% of the number of Visa transactions. In total, there were almost 100 million Visa consumer debit and prepaid cards on issue in the Asia Pacific by December 2006, representing a year-on-year growth of 21%.

India, Thailand and South Korea led the region in the number of Visa debit and prepaid cards on issue with more than 33.9 million, 13.9 million and 11.6 million cards respectively. Several emerging markets experienced three-digit growth in 2006 such as Bangladesh (155%), Pakistan (146%) and Vietnam (123%).