Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2022, an annual global report on payment cards by a London based research group Retail Bank Research, found that the growth in the number of card payments outpaced growth in the number of cards in virtually all markets around the world.
In all regions, consumers are increasingly choosing cards to make purchases. The number of payment cards rose 8% in 2016 to 14 billion, and is projected to hit 17 billion by 2022. The total number of card payments worldwide increased by 14% to 310 billion in 2016, and the research predicts it will reach 483 billion by 2022.
Debit cards are leading the worldwide payment card growth trend. “The number of payment cards issued worldwide will continue to grow steadily as more people come into the banking system,” says Chris Herbert of RBR. “The debit card sector will see the strongest expansion in the coming years, in line with the rise in bank account holding. Credit cards, in contrast, will be impacted by regulatory and economic factors in many countries.”
Furthermore, the proliferation of contactless technology and the increasing frequency of contactless payments, especially for low-value purchases, have been key to the growth of card payments in many mature markets, according to the study.