MasterCard Europe today announced its second-quarter 2009 operating results for the Europe region.
Against a stormy economic environment, strong partnerships with its customer financial institutions and leading retailers resulted in several business milestones for MasterCard Europe, while European consumers increasingly continued to use their MasterCard-branded cards at the point of sale with purchase transactions up 7.2% compared to 12 months ago.
Javier Perez, President, MasterCard Europe, said: "During the past quarter, and in line with our customer focused strategy, we continued to work closely with our financial institutions partners, identifying opportunities to maximize the value of their card programmes. The fact that, in the face of a severe economic downturn, Europeans have been using their MasterCard-branded cards more often than a year ago is testament to the convenience, control, security and rewards our payment solutions are providing to cardholders."
In the second quarter, MasterCard closed a number of significant business agreements across the region. Perez concluded: "Leveraging our global platform of industry-leading innovative products - from debit and credit, to prepaid and our contactless MasterCard PayPass system - enabled us to sign these deals. With our strong local presence across Europe we are well positioned to implement these agreements and to deliver solutions for distinct cardholder needs, laying the foundation to further advance electronic payments in this region, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the eastern borders of Russia."
For the second quarter 2009, the European region reported growth in MasterCard gross dollar volume, up 2.1%; purchase volume, up 3.0%; purchase transactions, up 7.2%, and cash transactions, up 4.4%, compared to the second quarter 2008. From 1 April until 30 June, European cardholders made 1.7 billion purchase transactions with their MasterCard-branded cards, including those made online.
As of 30 June 2009, 196 million MasterCard cards (excluding Maestro and Cirrus) had been issued by MasterCard customer financial institutions across Europe, up 3.8 % compared to the same quarter in 2008. European cardholders could use their MasterCard cards at 8.6 million acceptance locations in the region and at 29.4 million acceptance locations worldwide, including online.
In addition, the Maestro brand mark appeared on 305 million cards, stable compared to the same quarter in 2008. Consumers can now make point of sale purchases with their Maestro cards at 7.3 million merchant locations throughout Europe and at 12.1 million merchant locations worldwide and on the Internet.
MasterCard Europe reported a number of critical pan-European business achievements for the quarter including:
• MasterCard continues to strengthen its relationships with key European retailers through a new partnership agreement with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the rollout of innovative solutions that make the lives of consumers easier, including the introduction of PayPass contactless payments at selected Boots UK stores in London and Liverpool, in conjunction with RBS WorldPay.
• In Turkey, Akbank launched Carrefour Axess, a co-branding partnership with Europe's biggest retailer, Carrefour. The new card combines the advantages of Akbank's established, full-service credit card programme, Axess, with Carrefour Turkey's private-label card programme. All cards have PayPass functionality and already almost 2,500 POS terminals at over 170 Carrefour stores in Turkey have been PayPass-enabled.
• One year into the successful integration of Europay France and as a result of successful deal implementations, MasterCard-branded and processed volumes in the country are growing strongly, with processed GDV up approximately 22% and processed transactions increasing approximately 35%, compared to the second quarter 2008.
• With the evolution of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), MasterCard processed volumes continued to grow significantly in various markets across the region, as acquirers and merchants may now also process domestic transactions under the Maestro brand, rather than the local debit card brand.
• A new partnership with BankAmericard, the acquiring division of Deutsche Bank S.p.A., and Autostrade per Italia, the leading Italian highways company, has resulted in a major acceptance achievement. The extension of Maestro acceptance to the Italian tollways network is expected to facilitate a convenient and smooth debit payment experience for those tourists travelling to and within Italy this summer. The positive business momentum in Italy was underlined this quarter by reaching the milestone of 15 million MasterCard-branded cards in circulation in the country, further developing the 41 million card base for MasterCard and Maestro branded cards in the country.
• The quarter also saw a particular success in the premium/affluent space, with developments in Russia, Spain and Turkey.
- In April, Russia reached a significant milestone with over a million premium cards in circulation in the country. This achievement was cemented further with the debut of MasterCard's WorldTM card proposition, with Barclays Premier as the first issuer of the platform in the country. This was followed by the country's first petrol co-brand programme with Citibank and leading gas station chain, Neste, dedicated to the affluent sector on the MasterCard World platform.
- Parallel activity in Spain resulted in the unveiling of the "Unlimited" card programme - the result of a longstanding partnership with Santander Private Banking division - to introduce at a global level an unrivalled premium offering to high net-worth individuals.
- Meanwhile, in Turkey, Garanti relaunched one of Turkey's most elite brands, Turkish Airlines exclusive air miles credit card programme Shop&Miles with MasterCard. The new premium passenger programme incorporates PayPass.