Earlier this month, Visa International published a white paper titled The Virtuous Cycle - Electronic Payments and Economic Growth
(PDF). It contains a number of interesting conclusions. For example:
Based on an analysis of a cross-section of
50 countries, increasing the existing share of
electronic payments in a country by a margin
of just 10 percent will generate an increase of
0.5 percent in consumer spending. For example,
in a country that has a 20 percent card share of
US$30 billion in consumer spending, enlarging
that share to 22 percent will generate roughly
US$150 million in incremental consumer spending.
Electronic payment networks have the potential
to provide cost savings of at least 1 percent of
GDP annually over paper-based systems through
increased velocity, reduced friction and lower costs.
For the U.S. economy, that translates into roughly
US$60 billion in annual savings. In the U.K., savings
would be on the order of US$10 billion annually.