Global non-cash payment volumes continue to surge, with more than 333 billion transactions in 2012 as cards and mobile services grow in popularity, research from Capgemini and RBS suggests.
Overall, non-cash transactions around the world grew by 8.8% in 2011. Debit cards accounted for 124 billion transactions, up by 15.8% on 2010, with credit cards used 57 billion times, up 12.3%.
Although still making up a far small share of the pie, online and mobile payments are set for rapid growth, says the research. According to industry estimates, online transactions are expected to grow by 18.1% through 2014 to 34.8 billion, while mobile volumes will soar 58.5% to 28.9 billion.
However, Capgemini and RBS warn that these figures could be overly optimistic, suggesting that a statistical 'black hole' in emerging areas such as Africa might be leading to industry estimates on the size of the mobile payments market optimistically inflated by up to 50%.
When it comes to regional variations, the report says that Central Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Emerging Asia are leading the charge with growth in transaction volumes of more than 20%, with Latin America on nearly 15%.
In contrast, North America, Europe and 'mature Asia' recorded single digit growth rates, though these markets still account for more than two-thirds of global non-cash transaction volumes.
Kevin Brown, MD, global head, transaction services, RBS International Banking, says: "The unabated rise of non-cash payments is a sign of the interconnected lives we live today...In the developing markets, mobile payments are giving more people access to financial transactions, while customer-centric innovation has helped prepaid cards and virtual currency gain traction in the more developed markets."
Kevin Brown of RBS, Chris Hamilton of the Australian Payments Clearing Association, and CapGemini's Jean Lassignardie, sat down at the Finextra TY booth at Sibos in Dubai to discuss the results of the report and the implications for the global banking industry.