China UnionPay Now Has World's Most-Used Debit Card

Chinas UnionPay now has the world's top-used debit card, having taken the honor last year away from long-time leader Visa, according to the Nilson Report.

When comparing debit card purchase volume, UnionPay's share increased by 738 basis points to 47.19 percent. Visa's share fell 605 basis points to 40.62 percent, and MasterCard's share declined by 133 basis points to 12.20 percent.  This made UnionPay the largest general purpose debit card band based on the purchase volume.

At the end of 2013, some 8.33 billion credit, debit, and prepaid cards were in circulation globally, up 13.3 percent, or 975 million, from a year earlier.

Visa-branded credit, debit and prepaid cards initiated more than 101 billion payments last year, more than twice the total of MasterCard, its nearest competitor.

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