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Visa USA Surpasses $1 Trillion in U.S. Volume
Consumers Choose Speed, Convenience and Security of Visa
Cards Over Cash and Checks

June 03, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO, CA. -- For the first time in history, consumers in the United States used Visa payment cards for more than $1 trillion in transactions during a 12-month period, Visa USA announced today. The record usage means that an average of $32,000 went through the Visa system every second of every day over the 12-month period that ended March 31 - or nearly 10 percent of the 2002 U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

"One trillion dollars is an almost incomprehensible number, but it represents clear evidence of the silent revolution we're witnessing in the way consumers pay for goods and services. It means $12 of every $100 consumers spent in the U.S. is spent using a Visa card," said Carl Pascarella, president and CEO of Visa USA. "This is an important milestone in the history of U.S. commerce. Clearly, more and more people rely upon the security and convenience of Visa credit, debit and other payment products. To put it into context, $1 trillion could buy 162,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles every day for a year."

Analysis of Visa's volume of the four quarters ended March 31 shows a changing payments landscape in which consumers and businesses are increasingly choosing to use their payment cards in a wide range of locations:

  • Quick service restaurants grew by 71 percent.

  • Automatic bill payments - for regular household bills such as home and mobile telephone, utilities, cable TV, and membership dues - grew by 28 percent.

  • Business-to-business was up 21 percent.

  • Tolls and bridges rose 47 percent.

  • Government acceptance was up 18 percent.

  • "Thirty years ago, there were only about 23 million Visa cards in the U.S. Today, there are more than 396 million credit, debit, commercial and prepaid cards, and that number is climbing. Visa has come a long way since our early days as a credit card pioneer, but our focus has not changed - providing cardholders with new and better ways to pay," said Pascarella. "We lead the industry because we've evolved to meet the changing needs of consumers and businesses - moving beyond traditional credit and debit cards to provide unique products such as payroll and gift cards, as well as the superior technology and unsurpassed acceptance that drives this extraordinary usage."

    The $1 trillion milestone exemplifies Visa's leadership in the electronic payments industry. Visa cards not only represented greater overall credit volume than the competition, Visa products also generated greater Internet spending; more acquisition growth and greater brand preference among consumers than any other payment card brand. Specifically:

  • Visa credit cards represented the largest share of volume with $544 billion, reaffirming Visa's strength as the volume leader in this product category;

  • Visa debit cards continued to surge in popularity and, at $395 billion, the Visa check card now represents over a third of Visa's total volume;

  • In the twelve-months ended March 31, 2003, Visa's debit card transactions grew 20.7 percent.

  • Source: Visa USA

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