Jordanians shopping more with Visa
Recently released first quarter results for the year ending March 2006 from Visa International, the world’s leading payment organisation, indicate that Jordan has witnessed a significant increase in both Visa card ownership and card usage.
The most impressive data is the increase in retail usage by Visa cardholders. Retail sales value (RSV) is the key marker of electronic payment activity for any market because it is the amount used to purchase goods and services (and excludes cash withdrawals) and is therefore the true cashless expenditure. The year ending March 2006 experienced a 35% increase in RSV compared with the same time period of 2005, with consumers spending over US$ 364 million.
“It is great to see that Jordanians are moving from old fashion cash to modern, efficient, convenient card payments,” stated Said Shuqom, Visa International General Manager for the Levant. Meanwhile, Jordanian’s Visa card usage at both ATMs and point of sale locations in the year ending March 2006 also rose, reaching over US$ 3.07 billion. Compared to the corresponding time period of 2005, this figure constitutes a 21% increase from approximately US$ 2.5 billion. Mr. Shuqom continued, “Card use is on the rise, but there is still room for more consumers to overcome the inconvenience of retrieving and storing cash by opting for making card purchases at retail stores. Furthermore, on a macro-level, card payments help the economic development of Jordan as electronic payment is more efficient than cash and ensures that funds remain in the banking system, where they can be used to fund loans and investments which are crucial to economic growth. Utilisation of Visa cards at retail stores is of benefit on both a personal and economic level."
At the end of March 2006 approximately 1.8 million Visa cards were in Jordanian wallets, constituting a 33% growth from the total of 1.4 million Visa cards recorded for March 2005. In light of these results, Mr. Said Shuqom stated, "The growth in the number of cardholders is very pleasing as it demonstrates that Jordanians are experiencing a need for electronic payment and the added value it provides. Cards are now becoming a lifestyle tool in Jordan and we look forward to seeing continuous growth and trust in the convenience and security of Visa.”
Mr. Shuqom added, “I’d like to thank and congratulate Visa’s member banks for their successful efforts to provide payment cards to all, and for ensuring that electronic payment plays an integral role in fostering economic growth within the country. I would also like to thank Visa Jordan Card Services for their continuous efforts in developing the network of merchants that accepts cards. They have helped increase the number of merchant point of sale locations by 33% to over 10,000 locations across the Kingdom. Together we have made a large step forward and we expect to continue these strong achievements through 2006 and beyond.”