Transactions at merchants on general purpose payment cards carrying the American Express, Diners Club, JCB, MasterCard, UnionPay and Visa brands totaled 135.33 billion for 2011, up 14.56 billion or 12.1% over 20101, according to the annual special report on Global Credit Card Brands published by The Nilson Report, a respected trade newsletter on the payments industry.
“These results reflect a continuation of the worldwide movement from cash and checks to payment cards, both debit and credit,” said David Robertson, publisher of The Nilson Report.
The number of credit, debit, and prepaid cards in circulation reached 6.54 billion at the end of 2011, up 12.4% or 718.7 million. UnionPay added the most cards (534.0 million) for a 22.1% increase. Visa followed with an increase of 88.5 million cards, up 3.9%. MasterCard added 86.4 million cards, up 8.9%, JCB added 3.3 million cards, up 4.6, American Express added 6.4 million cards, up 7.0%, and Diners Club added 0.2 million cards, up 3.1%.
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