Banking for the People

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Looking back, we all can remember just a few decades ago, when only the most privileged among us carried a credit card or debit card.? Today, in a global economy facing constant change, the expansion of electronic payment systems has reached previously unimagined levels and now is part of the everyday lives of millions of people.? In a subtle yet profound way, these instruments have also begun to influence economic systems and to positively impact development in a variety of countries.

Electronic payment systems have become a fundamental part of extending banking services to people, bringing to them products related to saving and borrowing.? Currently, Visa estimates that the global payment system represents approximately 15% of total consumer spending.? Every day this figure increases, and it is felt in the convergence of electronic payments with mobile telephone, Internet service providers, public transit services and government, as well as the penetration of this form of payment among providers of daily, low-cost goods and services.?

In this context, it’s interesting to note that in Latin America and the Caribbean, as of September 2006, purchases made using a Visa card at points of sale reached US$102 billion.

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Source: Latin Trade (link opens in a new window)