The results of a Visa-commissioned study, released Wednesday (March 9), found that the increased use of electronic payments boosted economic growth across 70 countries between 2011 and 2015.
According to the study, which was conducted by Moody’s Analytics, a surge in the use of electronic payment products, such as credit, debit and prepaid cards, contributed $296 billion to GDP, while also causing a rise in the overall household consumption of goods and services by an average of 0.18 percent per year.
“Electronic payments are a major contributor to consumption, increased production, economic growth and employment creation,” Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, said in a statement announcing the results. “Those countries which saw large increases in card usage also saw larger contributions to overall growth in their economies.”
It’s estimated that the equivalent of 2.6 million new jobs were created on average, each year, over the course of the five-year period as a result of increased use of electronic payments. The 70 countries in the report, titled “The Impact of Electronic Payments on Economic Growth,” make up nearly 95 percent of global GDP, the press release confirmed.
“These findings reinforce the many positive benefits that electronic payments bring to local economies all over the world,” Visa CEO Charlie W. Scharf explained.
“This research also suggests that the right public policies can create an open, competitive payment environment and contribute to economic growth and job creation. At Visa, we are partnering globally with governments, financial institutions, merchants and technology companies to develop innovative payment products and services that will accelerate electronic acceptance, grow commerce and bring the benefits of card payments to more people everywhere,” Scharf continued.
While the global study makes it clear that the expansion of electronic payments alone will not necessarily increase a country’s prosperity, the findings do highlight growth opportunities, contributions to employment and potential future growth for both emerging markets and developed countries.