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Electronic payments worth $18bn

Growth in the use of electronic payment products, such as credit and debit cards, added approximately $18bn to economies in the Middle East and Africa [MEA] region, according to a study conducted for Visa by Moody’s Analytics, a leading independent provider of economic forecasting.

A study of 56 countries, including the MEA region, that represent 93 per cent of global GDP, concluded that “card usage makes the economy more efficient, yielding a meaningful boost to economic growth”. Globally, electronic payments contributed $983bn to the GDP of the countries examined over a four-year period. Over the same time, GDP in those countries grew by an average of 1.8 percentage points.

The study concluded that increased credit and debit card usage contributes to economic activity by reducing transaction costs and improving efficiency in the flow of goods and services. “The advent of credit and debit cards has greatly aided consumers’ ability to optimise consumption decisions by giving them secure and immediate access to all of their funds on deposit or a line of credit. Merchants also benefit because there is less cash and cheque handling in the system, eliminating the burdens and risks associated with holding cash. In addition, the dramatic growth of eCommerce and mobile payment methods would not be possible without global electronic payment systems that allow the safe and easy transfer of funds and guaranteed payment to merchants.”

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