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Payment systems: Fight for global domination hots up

New research and announcements show how the battle for global domination is hotting up in both payment cards and in omni-channel solutions.

Mastercard and Visa lose share to UnionPay in global cards market

The latest research report - Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2022 - from RBR London, a strategic research and consulting firm, reveals that the number of payment cards worldwide increased by 8% in 2016 to 14 billion. 

Share of Payment Cards Worldwide, by Scheme, 2016

Source & Copyright©2017 - RBR

With a billion new cards issued in the space of a year, the global market remains buoyant. The fastest growth is in Asia-Pacific, driven by financial inclusion initiatives, with China contributing by far the most to the rise in card numbers. The continued rapid expansion of the Chinese cards market has helped UnionPay to increase its share of cards to 43% in 2016, and extend its lead over Visa and Mastercard. UnionPay has been the largest scheme globally for card numbers since 2010 and, by the end of 2016, there were more than six billion UnionPay- branded cards in circulation.

Forecast growth

By 2022, the number of cards worldwide is forecast to rise to 17 billion as many people, particularly in parts of Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa, still do not hold a payment card. However, UnionPay remains a predominantly domestic scheme. Less than 1% of its cards are issued outside China, mainly in other Asia-Pacific countries, but also in Europe. It continues to expand to new markets and the adoption of its chip standards in six Asia-Pacific countries points to the scheme’s plans to step up its international expansion. However, UnionPay will eventually face greater competition in China, with Visa and Mastercard continuing to await clarification from the Chinese regulator before submitting their applications to operate domestically in the country.

Adyen’s global expansion continues

For suppliers of omni-channel payment services a clear differentiator is the number of local and international payment systems they connect to. 

Adyen, a leading omni-channel payment systems provider, has announced its collaboration with Sephora SEA Digital to offer UnionPay SecurePlus to customers of Customers of Sephora’s online store in Hong Kong will become the first-ever-shoppers to use UnionPay SecurePlus, a new offering from UnionPay International. SecurePlus allows credit and debit payments to occur within the merchant site, allowing a more seamless and secure payment flow. Currently, Sephora’s online stores across Asia Pacific are equipped to accept UnionPay debit and credit card payments. 

Adyen connect directly to Visa, Mastercard, and many consumers’ globally preferred payment methods. Adyen delivers frictionless payments across online, mobile, and in-store, and serves more than 4,500 businesses, including 8 of the 10 largest U.S. Internet companies. Customers include Facebook, Uber, Netflix, Spotify, L’Oreal and Burberry.

CTMfile take: If you want to penetrate the Chinese market, connection to UnionPay card scheme is essential. Similarly, Adyen seem to have unmatched global coverage in the omni-channel space.

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