The Nilson Report releases worldwide payment card statistics for 2015 worldwide circulation totals 18.08 billion, up 5.8%

CARPINTERIA, CA (September 22, 2016) — Credit, debit, and prepaid payment cards in circulation worldwide totaled 18.08 billion at year-end 2015, up 5.8% over 2014, according to The Nilson Report, the top trade journal covering the card and mobile payment industries. Link here to view chart.

These cards include global general purpose brands such as American Express, Discover/Diners Club, JCB, Maestro, Mastercard, UnionPay, and Visa. They also include domestic general purpose cards usable at a variety of merchants but only within a particular country, such as RuPay (India), Elo (Brazil), Interac (Canada), BC Card (Korea), eftpos (Australia), Cartes Bancaire (France), and more. Private label credit, debit, and prepaid cards for stores, fuel, airlines, medical, and more are also included.

Global brand general purpose cards accounted for 60.79% of total payment cards worldwide at the end of 2015. UnionPay cards accounted for 30.10% of the worldwide total of all payment cards. Visa cards accounted for 16.42%, Mastercard cards accounted for 8.71%. Amex, Discover/Diners Club, JCB, and Maestro combined accounted for 5.57%.

Domestic general purpose cards accounted for 5.53% of the worldwide total. Private label cards accounted for 33.69% of the total.

“By 2020, payment cards are expected to increase 21.3% to 21.93 billion,” said David Robertson, Publisher of The Nilson Report. “Mastercard and UnionPay are projected to be the only global general purpose brands to increase their share — Mastercard growing 67 basis points to 9.37%, and UnionPay growing 248 basis points to 32.57%. RuPay and Elo are projected to lead domestic general purpose cards, collectively gaining 96 basis points to 2.79%.


About The Nilson Report

The Nilson Report, in its 46th year of publication, is the most respected source of news and analysis of the global card and mobile payment industries. The by-subscription-only newsletter provides credit, debit, and prepaid card issuer, acquirer, and vendor statistics not found in any other trade journal, as well as concise technology, personnel, and product news and updates. It does not accept paid advertising of any kind. There are no advertisements, no articles written by vendors, and no sponsored content.


Lori Fulmer

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