Visa records almost 90% increase in card transactions

Andi Haswidi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Increasing numbers of people appear to be moving away from cash and turning to plastic.

Visa Indonesia announced Thursday that the total value of transactions made using Visa electronic cards grew by 89.7 percent in the 12 months up to the end of June 2006, with total transaction value being US$26.44 billion.

This record high reaffirms Visa's position as the market leader in the Indonesian card market.

A Visa press release says that the total value of transactions using Visa cards consisted of $23.3 billion using debit cards, and US$3.12 billion using credit cards.

"Visa International has achieved robust annual growth in Indonesia. It clearly shows how more and more Indonesians are placing their trust in Visa as they turn away from cash," Visa country manager Ellyana C. Fuad said.

"It is also evident that electronic payment, which provides convenience and security, is becoming an integral part of the Indonesian lifestyle," she added.

Debit cards have been the fastest growing form of payment in Indonesia since their first introduction in the early 1990s, and will likely remain so in the years to come as indicated by the steady increase in the number of debit cards issued in recent years.

The total value of debit card transactions rose by 105.4 percent to US$23.3 billion during the 12 months up to the end of June from the same period last year, according to the release.

The release also notes that the total volume of debit card transactions includes transactions made through ATMs.

Visa debit cards are currently issued by seven of Visa's 16 member banks in Indonesia, including Bank Permata, Bank Lippo, Bank Niaga, Bank Buana, Bank Bukopin, Bank Mega and Bank Mandiri.

In terms of retail sales volume, the Visa release says that this rose by 37 percent in 12 months -- from US$2.69 billion last year to US$3.69 as of the end of June 2006, with transactions made using debit cards registering an exceptional 188 percent growth from US$0.26 billion to US$ 0.76 billion. Meanwhile, transactions made using Visa credit cards increased by 21 percent to US$2.92 billion.

"These results continue to demonstrate our position as the leading payment brand in Indonesia and our cardholders' recognition of the benefits which the Visa brand bring to their everyday needs," Ellyana commented.

As the use of plastic becomes more common in Indonesia, Visa will prioritize the development of new applications, form functions and EMV chip-based products, including contactless payment cards that offer consumers greater control over their payments, increased convenience and faster transactions.
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