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Global general purpose cards volume rise 16%

Global general purpose cards generated 227.08 billion purchase transactions at merchant locations in 2015, an increase of 16.1% on 2014 figures, according to the Nilson Report.

Purchase transactions included consumer and commercial debit, credit and prepaid cards from all major

Global card volumes rise 16%

                                         Global card volumes rise 16%

international card schemes: American Express, Diners Club/Discover, JCB, UnionPay, MasterCard and Visa.

Visa cards accounted for 55.5% of all purchase transactions worldwide. Debit cards with the Visa brand continued to account for the largest share of purchase transactions at 33.5%, followed by Visa credit cards at 20%.

MasterCard credit and debit cards each accounted for 13.1% of purchase transactions last year. This was followed by UnionPay debit (6%), American Express (3.2%), JCB (1.2%) and Diners Club/Discover (0.98%).

UnionPay continued to be the biggest riser in terms of year-on-year growth. Last year UnionPay credit and debit cards purchase transactions at merchants grew by 47%, or 9.28 billion transactions. MasterCard purchases grew 8.09 billion, but both lagged behind the growth of purchase transactions on Visa at 13.16 billion.

Credit, debit and prepaid cards in circulation totalled 10.25 billion at the end of 2015, up 8.2% on 2014 figures. More than one-in-two cards issued globally is a UnionPay card. The global marketshare of cards in circulation by major international card scheme is as follows: UnionPay (53%), Visa (28.9%), MasterCard (15.3%), American Express (1.1%), JCB (0.9%) and Diners Club/Discover (0.5%).

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