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Cards

Report shoes growth in card acceptance fueled by consumer demand, government campaigns

Thursday 13 December 2018 | 01:40 PM CET

Payment card acceptance continues to grow worldwide, particularly in the less developed regions of Asia-Pacific and Central and Eastern Europe, according to a RBR report.

The report, Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2023, shows that the number of merchant outlets accepting card payments worldwide grew by 13% in 2017 to reach 69.2 million at the end of 2018.

As the report shows, Asia-Pacific and Central and Eastern Europe grew the fastest, driven in part by new regulations. For example, India’s government, which has placed caps on terminal charges and has also put pressure on banks to increase efforts to recruit merchants, and Czechia, where merchants are required to keep electronic records of sales, and accepting cards at EFTPOS terminals.

The number of outlets that accept cards is forecast to grow at an average of 8% per year between the end of 2017 and the end of 2023 to reach 111.7 million. There is potential for significant growth in some markets in Asia-Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa, as ongoing financial inclusion initiatives are boosting card issuance, thereby encouraging acceptance. Tourism is shown as being a significant driver of growth in acceptance; Japan is a prime example, where the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is driving the government to facilitate tourist spending.

The report also suggest that in many developing markets, acceptance is still held back by a lack of infrastructure or the geography of the country, for instance when it is made up of a large number of islands or has large remote, rural areas (like Indonesia and the Philippines).

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