MIAMI--(AllPayNews)--July 13, 2006--Visa International, Latin American and Caribbean Region (LAC) continues leading electronic payments in the region with an overall purchase volume of US$91 billion for the year ending March 2006. This represents a growth rate of 45 percent and indicates that Visa's cardholders continue to recognize the convenience and acceptance that the brand provides. Credit products accounted for US$ 61 billion of the total purchase volume while debit and prepaid volume reached US$30 billion. Among the fastest growing segments in Visa's payment portfolio are commercial cards, which already exceeded the annual forecast of US$4 billion and experienced a 55 percent increase by the first quarter of calendar year 2006.
"Visa's overall quarterly performance and increase in card issuance, including a 35 percent growth in the number of Visa commercial cards to an all-time high of 2.1 million cards, continues to strengthen the Visa brand in the region," said Eduardo Erana, President of Visa International, Latin America and Caribbean Region.
The growth in commercial purchase volume is largely driven by the changing needs of the enterprise segment in Latin America. As economies develop and become more competitive and global, there is an increased need to control, monitor, report and analyze travel, entertainment, and procurement expenses. The portfolio of Visa commercial products provide organizations with tailored payment solutions that meet their specific purchasing and reporting needs and deliver clear benefits to companies of all sizes and requirements.
The consistent increase in usage and activation of Visa cards coupled with a broader variety of merchant segments valuing Visa acceptance has been contributing to a significant growth in point-of-sale volume. As of March 2006, 224 million Visa-branded cards have been issued in Latin America, including 67 million credit cards and 157 million debit and prepaid cards, representing an increase of 21 percent over the previous year.
At a global level, total card sales volume increased by 16% reaching US$4.1 trillion and 1.4 billion cards. As the quarterly financial performance indicates, consumers and organizations more than ever trust Visa to deliver the highest security, convenience and number of acceptance locations in Latin America and worldwide.
About Visa: Visa connects cardholders, merchants and financial institutions through the world's largest electronic payments network. Visa products allow buyers and sellers to conduct commerce with ease and confidence in both the physical and virtual worlds. As an association owned by 20,000 member financial institutions, Visa is committed to the sustained growth of electronic payment systems to support the needs of all stakeholders and to drive economic growth. For more information, visit http://www.corporate.visa.com.
Visa International, Miami
Latin America and Caribbean Region
Kari Perez, 305-328-1268
Gina Carriazo, 305-347-4356