The value of transactions conducted via Visa debit cards surpassed the company's credit card volumes for the first time in 2003.
The company's debit card volume reached $1.48 trillion at the end of 2003, an increase of 17% over the previous year. At the same time the company's global credit volume rose five per cent from the previous year to $1.45 trillion.
Visa says research by Global Insight estimates that, globally, cash and cheque payments have decreased by four and seven per cent respectively over the past four years. In contrast, use of its debit products has increased by 90% over the same period.
As well as using debit for everyday purchases, Visa says the cards increasingly are being used for Internet purchases and for paying monthly bills.
Gaylon Howe, EVP, consumer product platforms, Visa International, says consumers are looking for the most efficient means of purchasing: "Cardholders can manage their finances by paying for purchases in a way that best suits the situation and their personal needs."
Citing payments industry newsletter The Nilson Report, Visa says the number of debit cards in circulation worldwide reached one billion in 2003 and debit card sales volume will double by 2007.