Note from the Publisher: Those not in the payments busines may not have heard of China’s UnionPay, but in fact it is now the largest credit card firm on the planet, having overtaken US-based Visa both in number of cards issued and in value of card payments.
“Having been the largest scheme worldwide for card numbers since 2010, UnionPay overtook Visa to also become the largest by value of card payments in 2015…..
New research from RBR shows that the number of payment cards in circulation worldwide increased by 8% last year to 13 billion. Although still impressive, the growth rate fell from 11% in 2014, following a slowdown in the expansion of the Chinese market. The fastest growth in 2015 was seen in the Middle East and Africa and Asia-Pacific where card numbers rose by 13% and 10% respectively, driven in particular by financial inclusion initiatives……
According to RBR’s Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2021 study, China’s UnionPay is now the largest scheme in terms of value of card payments, with a 37% share of the $21.6 trillion spent in 2015, up from 32% in 2014, and ahead of Visa (32%) and MasterCard (20%). UnionPay has been the largest scheme for card numbers since 2010 and, by the end of 2015, there were 5.3 billion UnionPay-branded cards, accounting for 41% of the card base worldwide.”