Visa cardholders’ retail spending in Jordan exceeds US$ 2.8 billion
Jordanians are showing signs that they prefer to shop the modern way, according to recent statistics issued by Visa International. The latest results from the world’s leading payment organization revealed impressive growth between December 2004 and December 2005 in Jordan, especially in Visa card numbers and card use.
By December 31st 2005, approximately 1.6 million Visa cards were in Jordanian wallets, a 22.3% growth from the total of 1.3 million Visa cards at December 31st 2004. In light of these results, Mr. Said Shuqom, Visa International General Manager for the Levant, stated, "The growth in cardholders is very pleasing as it demonstrates that Jordanians are beginning to experience the efficiency of payment cards due to the added value and innovative services that Visa member banks are offering. We hope this trend continues so that one day all Jordanians will have access to the convenience and security of a Visa card.”
Jordanian’s total Visa card usage in 2005 was recorded at US$ 2.9 billion, representing an increase of 16.3% when compared to 2004’s US$ 2.5 billion. Visa card transactions in Jordan over 2005 were also on the rise, reaching 20.4 million compared to 2004’s 18.4 million transactions.
While most of Visa card usage is still for accessing cash via ATMs and banks, the fastest area of growth is in retail spending transactions. The number of Visa’s retail transactions increased significantly to 3.1 million transactions by the end of 2005, constituting a 30.9% increase from the previous year. The increase in terms of Visa cards usage at shops and other service locations was also impressive with a 29.6% increase from US$ 258.1 million in 2004 to US$ 334.5 million in 2005. These figures are evidence that Jordanians are beginning to make full use of their cards, and cutting out the extra and unnecessary step of going to the ATM on their way to the shops.
Mr. Shuqom stated, “It is great to see that Jordanians are beginning to move from old fashioned cash to modern, efficient, convenient card payments. But there is still room for more consumers to overcome the inconvenience of retrieving and storing cash by opting for to make card purchases at retail stores. Furthermore, on a macro-level, retail usage also helps the economic development of Jordan as electronic cash is more efficient than cash and ensures funds remain in the banking system , where they can be used to fund loans and investments which are crucial to economic growth. The benefits of utilizing Visa cards at retail stores reap benefits on both a personal and economic level,” commented Shuqom.
Mr. Shuqom added, “I’d like to thank and congratulate Visa’s member banks on 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 at large. I would also like to thank Visa Jordan Card Services for their continuous efforts in developing the network of merchants that accepts cards. Together we made a big step forward in 2005.”