The number of global payment cards will grow by 28 percent to 17 billion by 2021. That’s according to new research from London-based RBR.
In the newest global payment cards research released on Oct. 31, RBR said that debit card numbers are growing faster than credit cards, which is a trend that will continue. Certain areas of the globe — namely, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific regions — will grow the fastest. Card numbers in those areas will be up between 10 and 13 percent.
The report noted that the double-digit growth is attributable to digitalization of salary and government benefit payments.
“Although the growth rate in the number of cards worldwide is slowing down, there are several large markets which still have considerable potential,” said RBR Senior Associate Chris Herbert in a release. “For example, there are comparatively low levels of bank account and card holding in India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan and, therefore, huge numbers of possible new clients who have not yet entered the banking system.”
The study mentioned that debit cards make up 70 percent of payment cards globally. That number is up 2 percent from 2014. By 2021, RBR expects debit cards to climb even further to 72 percent of all payment cards.