Payment Cards: A Global Outlook
San Jose, CA (PRWEB) September 2, 2008
With card companies offering benefits such as redeemable reward points, and cash-back offers, customers are being beguiled into using their cards for payment of various products and services. Cards represent a fast, secure and convenient means of payment for goods and services purchased by customers. Apart from replacing the cumbersome and often risky paper-based transaction system, electronic payments have boosted business prospects of organizations worldwide. By using electronic systems, business organizations and customers are now able to conduct safe and hassle-free transactions. With the rapid expansion of point-of-sale (POS) networks and online markets, electronic payment systems are becoming accessible to increased number of wholesale and retail outlets across the world. Growing adoption of payment cards has also led to a decline in the direct and indirect costs associated with plastic payment cards.
Contactless technology is expected to be a major driving force in the global payment cards market. As compared to conventional magnetic stripe cards, contactless payment cards offer improved security, ensure faster transaction, and eliminate the need for user authentication measures such as signatures. Reduction in the cost of development of contactless technology-based cards is expected to drive up the market for contactless debit cards and RFID smart cards. However, the absence of a large user base for such cards prevents merchants/businesses/retailers from adapting their POS systems to the technology.
Types of payment cards in use across the world include credit cards, debit cards, charge cards, commercial cards, and cash/prepaid cards. Credit cards have emerged as the world's most popular form of borrowing. With Internet emerging as a major medium for purchase of goods and services, debit and credit cards are being widely utilized. Credit cards is a relatively mature market and presently faces testing times with consumers shifting towards debit cards. However, credit card usage in countries such as the United States, UK and France is anticipated to grow. Another form of payment card that is gaining popularity among consumers is the 'top up' card or prepaid card, which is targeted chiefly at consumers without bank accounts.
Debit card transactions across the world are growing rapidly, driven by consumer shift from credit cards to debit and prepaid cards. This shift is mainly attributed to the fact that debit card transactions do not result in any debt accumulation, making it extremely attractive among consumers wanting to keep a check on their expenses. Government agencies are also using debit cards to make payments for medical and health insurance reimbursements. Debit cards offer attractive prospects for financial institutions, which are evolving new strategies to ensure their higher uptake among consumers. Reward programs and cash-back offers are some of the programs offered by issuers to lure prospective customers into using their cards.
Smart cards are being promoted as the future of secure payment transactions. Incorporating a microprocessor chip, smart cards are considered ideal for user identification and authentication. Smart cards find use in ID programs, network security, and transportation sectors. With growing number of consumers holding smart cards, local merchants are expected to upgrade their point-of-sale terminals for acceptance of these cards. This would subsequently promote conversion of magnetic stripe-based credit and debit cards to chip-based smart technology.
Card fraud is a major concern facing the payment cards industry. Card fraud, identity theft, and card skimming are some of the challenges faced by this industry. However, the development of advanced technologies such as RFID, and biometric authentication are expected to facilitate card issuers to effectively deal with card fraud.
The report titled "Payment Cards: A Global Outlook", published by Global Industry Analysts Inc, provides statistical anecdotes, market briefs, and concise summaries of research findings. The report provides a recapitulation of recent mergers, acquisitions, and other noteworthy strategic corporate developments. The report also offers a prelude to major regional markets, providing the reader with a macro level understanding of markets. Major markets discussed include United States, Canada, Japan, Europe, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, UK, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, among others. The report also includes an indexed, easy-to-refer, fact-finder directory listing the addresses, and contact details of 248 companies worldwide.
For more details about this research report, please visit http://www.strategyr.com/Payment_Cards_Industry_Market_Report.asp.
About Global Industry Analysts, Inc.:
Global Industry Analysts, Inc., (GIA) is a reputed publisher of off-the-shelf market research. Founded in 1987, the company is globally recognized as one of the world's largest market research publishers. The company employs more than 700 people worldwide and publishes more than 880 full-scale research reports each year. Additionally, the company also offers a range of more than 60,000 smaller research products including company reports, market trend reports and industry reports encompassing all major industries worldwide.
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