MasterCard regions post double-digit purchase volume growth in Q1


MasterCard International today announced strong performance results for the first three months of 2004, demonstrating continued growth across almost all regions and in key measures of success in the payments industry. Reflecting improving global economic activity, total purchases on MasterCard credit and debit cards rose 13.6% in the first quarter, with each region reporting double-digit growth.

"The year is getting off to a strong start for both MasterCard and our customers," said Robert W. Selander, MasterCard President and CEO. "We have seen an increase in worldwide purchase growth in every region, reflecting the improving global economy. Compared to the same period in 2003, all regions of MasterCard experienced double-digit growth in purchases, including Asia/Pacific, which is turning around after a challenging year in 2003."

Performance highlights for the first three months of 2004, in addition to purchase volume, include:

-- Cardholders across the globe used MasterCard-branded cards (excluding Maestro(R) and Cirrus(R)) for over 3.7 billion transactions, generating gross dollar volume (GDV) of $331.9 billion, an increase of 8.4% over the same period in 2003. GDV includes both purchase and cash volume;

-- MasterCard's almost 25,000 customer financial institutions around the world had issued more than 627.5 million MasterCard-branded cards, a 6.6% increase over first quarter 2003.

MasterCard's strong growth in the first three months of 2004 was fueled by growth in both credit and debit programs. GDV for worldwide credit and charge programs grew 8.9% to $270.1 billion, and GDV for offline debit programs rose 6.7% to $61.7 billion over the same period in 2003. Gross transactions for credit and offline debit programs increased by 10% in 2004 compared to the first quarter in 2003.

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