By Charles Abuede
American Express, MasterCard, Diners Club and Visa saw the usage of their cards issued in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) generate $1.231 trillion from the buying of goods and services, loans and money withdrawal in 2019, a study by Nilson Report on household debts and credit cards in the United States through the usage of credit, debit and pre-loaded cards has revealed.
The 2019 figure represents a rise of 14.6 per cent from 2018.
The report, accessed by Business A.M., revealed that loans and withdrawals consolidated to $728.67 billion, rising by 12.4 per cent from the previous year. They added up to 59.21 per cent of total volume within the region in 2019. This was a decrease from 60.34 per cent in 2018. Similarly, the total volume of purchases of goods and services, according to the report, amounted to $502.05 billion, up 17.9 per cent; though, purchases represented 40.79 per cent of absolute volume, when compared with 39.65 per cent in 2018.
Visa card purchase volume expanded by 17.5 per cent to $288.31 billion during the period under review, while MasterCard cards issued to customers in the MEA region expanded 18.9 per cent to $195.54 billion. American Express recorded a 13.9 per cent expansion to $11.36 billion in its total purchase volume, while Diners Club also witnessed a 13.8 per cent expansion to $6.85 billion.
However, the purchase volume market share for Visa cards decreased 19 basis points to 57.43 per cent. MasterCard expanded three basis points (3bps) to 38.95 per cent. American Express also recorded a decline by 8bps to 2.26 per cent, and Diners Club market share slid 5bps to 1.36 per cent.
A further analysis of the report shows that total cash transactions accounted for 59.71 per cent of complete volume at Visa, which was down from 62.56 per cent the year earlier. At MasterCard, cash money was 60.62 per cent of the complete volume, up from 59.11 per cent the prior year. Also, American Express money was 1.98 per cent of the total volume, down from 2.23 per cent, and for Diners Club, money was 1.81 per cent, down from 1.96 per cent.
Total purchase transactions for products and services attached to American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa cards issued in the Middle East and Africa arrived at 10.40 billion in 2019, an expansion of 31.2 per cent over the previous year. Meanwhile, Visa and MasterCard cards created a consolidated 10.27 billion in purchase transactions. This represents 98.75 per cent of all purchases initiated by global brand cards issued within the area.
The Nilson report, on the other hand, unveiled that purchase transaction market share for Visa reached 50.49 per cent, down from 52.20 per cent in 2018. American Express’s share declined to 0.75 per cent from 0.96 per cent. Diners Club’s share declined to 0.50 per cent from 0.59 per cent. Conversely, MasterCard’s market share at 48.26 per cent was up from 46.25 per cent last year.
Also, a combined credit, debit and prepaid global brand cards in circulation in the Middle East and Africa region reached 385.7 million as at December 31, 2019, up 14.6 per cent versus December 31, 2018. Though, Visa and MasterCard cards accounted for 99.44 per cent of the total.
For MasterCard cards available for use, there was an 18.3 per cent expansion to 205.9 million during the year. Its total cards in circulation market shares rose to 53.38 per cent from 51.73 per cent. Also, Visa cards grew by 10.8 per cent to 177.7 million in the region and within the same period, while its market share for total cards in circulation and available for use fell to 46.07 per cent from 47.64 per cent from the last year.
At Visa, the Middle East and Africa district represented 5.16 per cent of the entirety of the brand’s cards in circulation globally as at the end of 2019, up from 4.83 per cent in 2018. Also, the Middle East and Africa accounted for 3.22 per cent of Visa’s overall purchase volume for goods and services in 2019, up from 2.98 per cent in 2018, and 2.83 per cent of its purchase transactions, up from 2.49 per cent.
Meanwhile, at MasterCard, the Middle East and Africa locale represented 9.48 per cent of the entirety of the brand’s cards in circulation globally by the close of 2019, up from 8.71 per cent in 2018. Also, the Middle East and Africa represented 4.10 per cent of MasterCard’s overall purchase volume for goods and services in 2019, up from 3.91 per cent, and 4.63 per cent of its purchase transactions, up from 4.06 per cent.