|Visa International continues to see strong growth in Jordan and Levant|
|Statistics issued Sunday by Visa International, the world’s leading payment organisation, for the 12-month period to 30 June 2005 show strong growth across Levant. The region enjoyed a 15 percent annual rise in the number of Visa cardholders, to reach over 2.1 million.
Jordan has maintained its leading position in the Levant region, with approximately 1.5 million Visa cardholders, rising by 14 percent since June 30th 2004, with cardholders spending a total of US$2.6 billion during the year.
Significantly, spending at shops and retail outlets grew 25% to US$288 million – a strong indication of the convenience increasingly associated with electronic payment as opposed to cash.
Mr. Said Shuqom, Visa International General Manager for the Levant, said, "These results demonstrate a steady increase in Jordanian consumer confidence in payment cards as an everyday alternative to cash. Whether they are using their cards to make direct purchases in stores and shops or simply to make convenient withdrawals at ATM machines, payment cards are now the obvious choice for more Jordanian citizens than ever before. Not only do Visa cards make the consumer’s life easier, but the cardholders also benefit Jordan's economic growth as more money remains in the formal economy where it is needed for investment and development. I’d like to congratulate our member banks on their efforts to realise this impressive growth.”
“These figures also demonstrate the banks’ developments, which provide credit facilities through card products in Jordan and the value they offer to their customers. This has in turn contributed to a dramatically increased demand for Visa credit products and services, which grew a staggering 94% in the last year."
Cardholder expenditure in Lebanon reached US$2.23 billion, of which US$344 million are related to retail spending – an annual increase of 31%. The total retail spending across the Levant region for the year to 30 June 2005 exceeded US$632 million.
Visa cards are accepted through a network of 14,000 acceptance points around the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, of which 13,000 are merchant outlets. Statistics show that in excess of 19 million Visa transactions were made during the year, up by 12 percent since the end of 2004
Amman,11 01 2005