Visa retail card spending soars 42 percent in the Middle East
Visa International, has announced a 42 percent increase in annual retail card expenditure across the Middle East region with $6.4 billion achieved in the year ending June 30, 2003. In Kuwait alone growth in Visa card retail expenditure topped 81 percent to reach $1.6 billion.
“The fact that nearly 60 percent of regional card retail spend was from debit cards such as Visa Electron, shows that this form of payment is gaining widespread acceptance in the region,” said General Manager for the Middle East, Visa International Central and Eastern Europe Middle East and Africa (CEMEA), Peter Scriven.
Scriven said Kuwait was the fastest growing market in the Middle East, where retail card expenditures rose by 81 percent to reach $1.6 billion. This was closely followed by Saudi Arabia, where sales volumes increased by almost 50 percent to total $2.3 billion while in Lebanon retail spending grew by 26 percent to reach over $200 million.
“The Middle East led the growth curve for Visa, largely due to effective marketing and sales campaigns which we have pursued in association with our member banks and merchants. Close partnerships with our member banks have also been enhanced and have contributed to the overall success of our mission in the region,” Scriven added.
Jordan became the fourth country in Middle East to issue one million Visa cards, between June 2002 and June 2003. Meanwhile in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Oman reached the 500,000-card milestone.
Online shopping was boosted with the launch of Verified by Visa e-security solution. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) became the first market across CEMEA to launch this program. Governments are fast endorsing the card payment trend. Recently, the Jordanian Ministry of Finance announced the acceptance of Visa cards for all public payments.
Internationally Visa recorded $2.7 trillion in card retail spending volume, a 12.2 percent increase year on year. The payment brand has 21,000 member financial institutions. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)