Irish consumer expenditure on Visa cards reaches record €15.5bn

15 Jan 2013

Annual Irish consumer spending on Visa cards – debit, credit and prepaid – has hit €15.5bn for the first time, an increase of 17pc on 2011 expenditure. Visa Europe attributes this growth to the rollout of Visa debit cards to Irish consumers, as well as consumers growing more comfortable paying with Visa cards, particularly when it comes to lower-value, everyday purchases.

One euro in every €7 of consumer spending in Ireland is now on a Visa card, Visa Europe said, in announcing its annual results for the year ending 30 September 2012.  

The number of Visa debit, credit and prepaid cards increased by 43pc in Ireland, bringing to about 4.9m the number of Visa cards in the country.

The number of transactions throughout 2012 increased, as well, by 26pc, as 201m transactions took place during the 12-month period.

In Europe, total spend by Visa cardholders grew by 8pc to €1.3 trn. This was underpinned by a 16pc growth in e-commerce, the fastest-growing part of the Visa Europe business.

Online spending on Visa cards in Europe totalled €202bn for the first time and accounts for more than 20pc of Visa Europe’s business.

One euro in every €6.75 spent in Europe is on a Visa card, Visa Europe said.

Visa Europe revenues

Visa Europe revenues amounted to €1.11bn, marking the second year in a row its revenues have topped €1bn.

The company achieved a pre-tax surplus of €260m that will be reinvested into the business and to improve capital and reserves.

“We have benefited from our investment in technology and security, which not only helped us deliver 100pc processing availability and record low levels of fraud in 2012, but also enabled us to showcase mobile contactless payments at the London Olympics. This investment also underpins the rollout of new payment technologies in 2013,” said Peter Ayliffe, chief executive, Visa Europe.

“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.”

Indeed, for Visa  Europe, 2013 will feature the rollout of by Visa, Visa’s first integrated digital wallet, in the UK, France and Spain, with Ireland being the next focus market for by Visa allows consumers to securely complete online transactions with just one click after login through the internet browser on their smartphones, tablets, PCs or laptops, using cards from multiple providers. 

The year 2013 will also see the continued rollout of contactless payments for card and mobile devices.

Contactless payments at Marks & Spencer

Contactless transactions quadrupled in 2012 and Visa Europe expects to repeat this growth in 2013. To wit, Marks & Spencer has become the latest major retailer to offer contactless payments to consumers and is rolling out the technology in its stores. 

Across Europe in 2013, there is be 40 issuers offering mobile contactless payment services to consumers and by the end of the year, around 80 types of smartphones will be certified by Visa to carry out contactless payments.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic