Growing smartphone and tablet usage, along with a rising number of online merchants, is driving an increase in online spending.
A recent RBR (Retail Banking Research) report concludes 16 billion e-commerce card payments totaling $2 trillion were made globally in 2014. The report, “Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts,” indicates e-commerce card payments are growing more rapidly than overall card payments. In fact, online purchases currently represent 11 percent of the $20 trillion worldwide payment card spend and are forecasted to reach 13 percent of the projected $38 trillion card spend in 2020. That amounts to $5 trillion in online purchases made via payment cards in 2020.
While the report recognizes the role of alternative online payment methods, such as PayPal, cash-on-delivery, direct debit and others, card payments are expected to continue to rule online.
E-commerce won’t be the only arena where card payments triumph in the coming years. The number of global merchant locations accepting cards is expected to double over the next few years, from 46 million at the end of 2014 to 90 million by the close of 2020. Driving growth overall are strong card adoption rates among merchants in the Asia-Pacific region along with the penetration of contactless and mobile point-of-sale (POS) programs worldwide.
In addition, mobile POS devices are expected to help increase card acceptance, especially in merchant sectors where traditional card acceptance is not cost effective.