Visa Boosts LatAm Volume

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Visa posts a strong increase in volume and credit cards in Latin America. Visa boosted its point-of-sale (POS) volume in Latin America by 26 percent to $116.3 billion in the four quarters ending on March 31. The growth was due to a 37 percent increase in the number of new credit cards issued, which now total 91.3 million in the region. All in all, Visa boasts 270.9 million cards in Latin America, including debit cards.

Purchases made with Visa credit cards at the POS grew 26 percent to $77.8 billion, while POS volume with debit and prepaid products expanded by 25 percent to $38.5 billion.

Visa, which has 56.8 percent of the Latin American card market, has seen more than 80 percent growth in the issuance of its credit cards in the region since 2005, particularly in entry level segments, as a result of greater credit access and specialized products extended by issuers, according to Eduardo Era?a, president and CEO of Visa International LAC.

?This is positive for consumers, merchants and the economy as a whole,? he said in a statement.


Providing access to the entry-level segment, who Visa classifies as those individuals with a monthly income between $100-$500, has been a key factor for the growth of the credit card segment during this period, the company says.

“Visa?s strategy to bring credit solutions to these consumers focuses on enabling financial institutions to transition existing debit clients to credit, while bringing in new clients who did not previously utilize the banking system,” Visa said in the statement. “Additional strategic efforts have been implemented to increase the participation of financial institutions in the issuance of Visa co-branded store cards, because these are among the first financial products to reach this segment of the population. “

Latin American economies as a whole benefit as well, because the increased use of the electronic system, including debit, credit and prepaid products drives deposits, accelerates the flow of funds and improves liquidity, contributing to stimulate economic growth, Visa points out. ?There is an untapped opportunity to increase economic prosperity and social transformation among the millions of consumers at the base of the pyramid,” Era?a said.

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Source: Latin Business Chronicle (link opens in a new window)