The Nilson Report Releases Payment Card Data for 2015 - Worldwide Circulation Up 5.8%

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In 2015 there were 18.08 billion payment cards in circulation worldwide — global and domestic brands and private label. That figure will grow to 22.90 billion by the end of 2020. MasterCard and UnionPay only cards projected to grow.

Global, domestic, and private label cards

The Nilson Report Payment Cards Worldwide 2015

"Mastercard and UnionPay are projected to be the only brands to increase their share by 2020."

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.

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

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Lori Fulmer
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