Visa Asia Pacific reports Exponential Growth in International Online Spending

Travel News Asia 20 December 2005

Online spending in Asia Pacific by Visa cardholders at e-commerce merchants outside their home countries for the three months ended September exceeded US$377 million, representing 71% growth over the same period in 2004. The number of international online Visa card transactions also increased exponentially from 1.9 million in the third quarter of 2004 to more than 3.6 million for the same period in 2005, a 94% year-on-year gain. 

Visa cardholders from the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand and Australia were the top international online spenders. These markets contributed 58% to the total Visa card international online spending in Asia Pacific, or approximately $220 million.

Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Philippines all saw growth of over 100% when compared with the same quarter in 2004.

When shopping at online merchants outside their home countries, Visa cardholders spent most on transport -about $109 million, an increase of 79% year on year. This was followed closely by retail and trade, at about $103 million, a 90% increase; professional and commercial services at about $63 million, an increase of 18%; education at about $26 million, up 50%; and sports and leisure at about $24 million, an increase of 83%. 

Philip Yen, Visa Asia Pacifics Executive Vice President and General Manager, Product Group, said, The rise in online shopping throughout Asia Pacific is part of a wider global trend that has seen online sales increase dramatically over the past few years. These figures demonstrate that the online environment makes it extremely easy for consumers to purchase goods and services while traveling or to shop overseas without leaving their homes.

Consumers and merchants are both contributing to this growth. For the consumers, the convenience and security that online shopping provides combined with their increasingly pressing need to manage time efficiently are the driving factors. For merchants, their recognition of the ease and speed that the online channel brings to their businesses contributes strongly to the rise in the number of online shops. Visa expects to see these figures continue to grow well into 2006 and beyond, added Yen.

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