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The Enemy of Settlement: UnionPay has overtaken Visa in terms of debit card market share


UnionPay has overtaken Visa in the debit card market for the first time, according to a study by the international company Nilson Report (available from Izvestia). The Chinese payment system has become a leader in terms of transaction volume, taking 40.03% against 38.78% for Visa. This is associated primarily with economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region and the U.S. GDP slowdown, experts explain. The Russian market, from which Visa officially left, could also make its contribution, while demand for UnionPay there, on the contrary, grew.

Changing positions

In 2022 the share of UnionPay debit card transactions reached 40.03%, while the same figure for Visa was 38.78%, according to the Nilson Report. The U.S. payment system's "plastic" transaction volume in 2022 was $14.109 billion, while the Chinese player had $16.227 billion, with Visa accounting for 63.91% of debit card transactions and UnionPay for 75.12%.

Back in 2021, the situation was different. Visa had a larger market share of 39.53%, and UnionPay - 38.68%. At the same time, debit card transactions of the U.S. payment system since 2011 fell from nearly 80% to 39.53%, while the Chinese have grown from near zero to 38.68% in 2021. Moreover, in 2022 Visa reduced the volume of purchases by debit and credit cards, while UnionPay both increased.

The share of MasterCard debit cards between 2021 and 2022 fell nearly 18.5 percentage points. - from 39.53% to 21.19%.

Transactions by Mir cards were not included in the study because it analyzes global players, not national payment systems. "Izvestia sent inquiries to Visa, UnionPay and MasterCard.

UnionPay cards traditionally ranked second after Visa, but primarily at the expense of the domestic Chinese market, reminded Alexei Tarapovsky, founder of Anderida Financial Group. According to him, their share of the international market, excluding users from China, did not exceed 1-2%.

- UnionPay system is most widespread in China and other countries of the Asia-Pacific region. In recent years they have outpaced economic growth, which in turn contributes to an increase in the volume of card transactions. Hence the increase in the market share of UnionPay," explained Igor Dodonov, an analyst at Finam Group.

It is worth taking into account that Visa card settlements may be negatively affected by the decline in U.S. GDP growth, said Yevgeny Mironyuk, stock market expert at BCS World Investments. Moreover, compared to UnionPay, the U.S. payment system is in a more competitive environment.
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