A new report shows that, across the globe, there were more than 270 billion card payments in 2015, an increase of 15 percent over 2014. Such an increase, according to RBR’s Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2021, is almost double the 8 percent rise in card numbers alone.
This trend underscores worldwide initiatives to move away from cash payments altogether. For instance, in Thailand, banks are both marketing more debit cards to consumers to steer them from pulling cash from the ATM and also incentivizing merchants to accept cards more often. In Eastern European countries, like the Czech Republic and Poland, the surge in contactless card usage has increased card payments, while the U.K. and France have already seen these heightened levels of card use in recent times.
Between now and 2021, the study said card payments are expected to rise by 55 percent, to 417 billion per year. Card numbers are anticipated to grow by 28 percent over the same time period, indicating that card payments are expected to continue to outpace card numbers.
Countries expected to have the biggest deltas in card payments versus card numbers are those in the Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific, plus Central Europe and Eastern Europe, as cards are currently used less frequently in these regions.