Visa International reported strong growth globally for 2003 as card sales volume reached US$2.9 trillion for the twelve months ending 31 December 2003, a 10% increase over the same period a year earlier. Sales volume for the quarter ending 31 December 2003 was US$810 billion.
"We are pleased to announce that in the midst of a very challenging economic environment, consumers increasingly chose the convenience and security of Visa products over cash and checks," said William Boardman, Chairman of the Board and interim Chief Executive Officer for Visa International. "With continued improvement in the global economy, innovative new products and services from our member banks, and the spotlight on the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, we project continued strong growth for 2004."
2003 Business Highlights:
- Visa debit products continue to grow strongly with a 16.3% growth rate and total sales volume of $1.4 trillion. Visa Electron, popular in the Visa EU, CEMEA and AP regions, experienced 22% growth to US$432 billion in card sales volume. The Visa debit product suite now includes 12 products allowing Visa Member banks a broad range of choice in "pay now" product offerings.
- Visa Premium products showed a 10.8% growth rate with card sales volume of US$898.5 billion.
- Commercial products posted volume of US$177.5 billion, an increase of 19% over the same period in 2002. Growth in the commercial category was led by Visa Debit Business cards, which experienced 27% growth to reach US$31 billion in volume. The Visa commercial product suite now includes nine products addressing the diverse needs of business and governments worldwide.
- More than 38 billion transactions were conducted on Visa products during 2003, an increase of 12.3% over 2002.
- During the peak holiday shopping season of 2003, VisaNet processed more than 5,000 transactions per second, a 13% increase over 2002.
- The Visa PLUS ATM network grew to more than 877,000 ATMS, making Visa products the most convenient way to access local currency when traveling internationally.
- Visa continued to expand acceptance in new market channels including quick service restaurants and recurring payments. Significant progress was also made in incorporating the Visa payment function into new devices through contactless chip and RFID applications.
2003 Results by Visa Region:
- Visa Asia Pacific achieved card sales volume of US$438 billion. Excluding South Korea, Visa AP's card sales volume grew 12%. Visa AP card sales volume in South Korea was adversely impacted by a number of factors in that market. Inclusive of South Korea, Visa AP experienced cards sales volume growth of -2%.
- Visa Canada achieved card sales volume of US$89 billion, a 9% increase over 2002.
- Visa Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) achieved card sales volume of US$139 billion, a 34% increase over 2002.
- Visa EU achieved card sales volume of US$943 billion, an 11% increase over 2002.
- Visa Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) achieved card sales volume of $181 billion, a 16% increase over 2002.
- Visa USA achieved card sales volume of US$1.1 trillion, an increase of 12% over 2002.