Spending on Visa Business cards hits $190bn

Source: Visa International

Visa International today announced that the sales volume of Visa Business cards worldwide, represented by global small business spend, has reached US$190 billion over a 12-month period, as small businesses continue to adopt payment solutions that are more convenient and secure than cash and checks.

For the four quarters ended June 30, 2006, small businesses worldwide made US$190 billion in purchases with their Visa Business cards, representing a compound annual growth rate of 32 percent. Visa Business is leading the growth within Visa Commercial, and is one of the fastest growing product segments for financial institutions.

"Small business owners worldwide want efficient payment and information solutions that help streamline cash flow and expense management so they can concentrate on growing their businesses," said Preet Chhokar, vice president, Visa Commercial, Visa International. "Reaching this milestone is a testament to the advantages Visa Business provides small businesses over cash and checks."

The potential for the growth of electronic payments is significant. Using the Commercial Consumption Expenditure (CCE) index, Visa International estimates that global business and government spending, excluding payroll and certain other capital expenditures, totaled nearly US$61 trillion in 2005. Small business CCE can represent upwards of 25 percent of total CCE, varying by country. One-third of this business spending could potentially be moved from cash to electronic payment systems, such as Visa Business products.

To help Visa member financial institutions tap into this opportunity, Visa recently published the Visa Business Expedition Pack, a 10-step program that offers advice on how to manage small business credit risk. Visa recently launched the program during a series of member workshops designed to help financial institutions anticipate lending obstacles, meet risk management challenges, and make proactive changes to implement successful small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) payment programs.

Six member workshop sessions were hosted in the sub-Saharan Africa Region. In addition, in Singapore, more than 75 delegates benefited from a focused credit risk workshop during a Commercial Leadership Forum. In Colombia, more than 60 individuals representing 19 different financial institutions found the workshops highly valuable. "This seminar gave me concrete and relevant tools that will help me better serve the payment needs of my small business customers," said Adriana Marcela Rivas Ramirez, general manager, Bank of Bogota.

Additional sessions are planned in Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Latin America, and Europe throughout the year. For more information, please contact a Visa regional representative.

Visa Business provides flexible payment solutions for small businesses. Small business owners can use Visa Business payment solutions to efficiently manage cash flow, separate business and personal expenses, streamline payments, and gain visibility into daily business spend. Visa Business also lowers costs by reducing manual paper-based purchase order processes, enabling negotiations with preferred suppliers and providing access to discounts.

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