MasterCard Worldwide has announced doubledigit growth in its European operating performance results for the third quarter of 2006.
The company reported a 12.9 per cent rise in gross dollar volume (GDV) for Europe, which increased to $135 billion. European purchase volumes also rose by 13.3 per cent in the quarter to $99 billion, driven by increased cardholder spending on a growing number of MasterCard-branded cards.
MasterCard-branded cards were used for a total of 1.28 billion transactions in Europe, an increase of 9.6 per cent on the same period last year. As of 30 September 2006, the company's customer banks had issued 145 million MasterCard-branded cards in Europe, an increase of 17 per cent on the same period in 2005, whilst the total number of acceptance locations in Europe stood at 7.6 million. The number of Maestro and Cirrusbranded cards increased to 281 million in Europe, a rise of 8 per cent on the same period last year, while the number of European acceptance locations stood at 6.7 million.
"Europe made a significant contribution to the global performance of MasterCard Worldwide in the third quarter of 2006", said Javier Perez, President, MasterCard Europe. "We continued to see double-digit growth in the region, particularly in the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe.
"As a global company with a pan-European heritage, we can truly understand, safeguard and maximise opportunities for our European customers. With Maestro, we have a SEPA-compliant solution already in the market and our key focus now is on leveraging that position to support our customers, partners and regulators in delivering a truly borderless payments area for Europe."
Third quarter European highlights included the launch in Turkey of the first fully-fledged contactless payments programme in Europe, using MasterCard's award-winning OneSmart® PayPass™ technology. The contactless cards, issued by Garanti Bank, are accepted by merchants including Burger King and Starbucks.
In the third quarter, MasterCard also continued to build its diverse portfolio of European co-branding programmes. The company jranding programmes. The company joined forces with mobile operator BASE in Belgium to introduce a co-branded card offering free minutes on mobile phone calls, in what was also the first example of a personalized credit card in the Belgian market. In Hungary, MasterCard launched the Citibank-Malév Hungarian Airlines co-branded card, building on the success of previous partnerships with European airlines.
Perez concluded: "Our consistent operating performance demonstrates that European customers continue to choose MasterCard's innovative products, globally recognised brand and robust technology platform to enhance the profitability of their payments businesses."