Visa Poised to Invest €200 Mn a year in New Payments Technologies

Visa Europe has reported its strongest annual financial performance to date for the year ending 30th September 2014. Gross revenues grew 9% year-on-year to €1.9 billion while profits of €344 million were €80m higher than last year. This enables Visa Europe to invest more than €200 million in new payments technologies to accelerate the growth of digital payments.

The amount spent at point-of-sale broke through €1.5 trillion for the first time, a rise of 9.4% from 2013, with a total of 37 billion transactions. This means Visa now accounts for €1 in every €6 spent in Europe. E-commerce spending on Visa cards also grew sharply, up 17% year-on-year to €280 billion.

Overall, there are now more than 500 million Visa cards in circulation – one for each adult in Europe - and one fifth of these are contactless as the technology becomes commonplace. The total amount accessed through all Visa cards, including ATM transactions, rose to over €2 trillion.

Nicolas Huss, Chief Executive Officer of Visa Europe, said in an official press release:

This is an incredibly exciting time for payments, and 2015 promises to be a year full of opportunities. We will further eat away at the 70% of transactions that are still settled in cash in Europe. We will make use of the abundance of digital technology that now surrounds us to enable new digital payment solutions. And, most importantly, we will deliver an even better quality of service to retailers and consumers alike by making payment simpler, smarter and more secure than ever before.

We build this vision on a strong base. Our 2014 results show our strongest financial performance to-date with gross revenues growing 9% year-on-year. This enables us to deliver exceptional value to our members – banks and payment providers across Europe – as our shareholders and customers. The results also demonstrate that we have the brand, scale, ubiquity, reliability and security to attract the very best partners to work with us on transforming how people pay and be paid.

Our partnership with retailers is critical and it’s time to move on from the debate about fees and onto something more constructive. Regulation is coming on interchange fees and the European Commission estimates that this regulation will bring savings of around €6 billion to European retailers. At Visa Europe, we’re investing more than €200m a year in new payments technologies. If retailers invest just a fraction of their savings, we can truly work together to make a leap forward in improving the consumer experience.