Global Non-Cash Payments: Trends and Forecasts

by Gareth Lodge, November 27, 2012
Industry Trends
Global

Abstract

In 2011, despite the economic crisis, non-cash payment volumes grew by 5.0% to 304.8 billion transactions, with debit cards now the most favored payment instrument.

In the report Global Non-Cash Payments: Trends and Forecasts, Celent summarizes payment statistics it has tracked from over 120 countries, by both payment type and region.

“Two clear trends stand out,” says Gareth Lodge, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Banking Group and author of the report. “First, debit cards saw the greatest levels of growth over the period 2008-2011, in both percentage and absolute terms. Much of this growth has come at the expense of other payment types, but particularly seen by many consumers as a direct cash substitute. Instead of using the card at an ATM and using that cash to pay, they view using the card as merely shorting that process.”

“The second key trend is checks are dying out rapidly across the world, with a 6.6% CAGR reduction across the period examined,” he adds. “While we believe the death of checks is imminent in some countries, in others it most certainly isn’t likely. For example, in 2011 the US wrote nearly 60% of all checks, globally. That’s going to be a tough habit to break.”

This report is based on Celent’s Global Payments Database. This database brings together the wealth of information Celent analysts collect during their research. While much of the data may be publicly available, the interpretation and triangulation of this data are an integral piece of the database. Having studied payment systems in over 100 countries, we understand the challenges of comparing apples with apples, particularly because the data often differs from source to source. This report also draws on data collected on many other aspects, from regulatory environment to numbers of mobile phone subscriptions to numbers of ATMs.

This 36-page report contains eight figures and seven tables.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
mpace@celent.com
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

1

 

The Numbers

1

 

Two Global Key Trends

1

Introducing the Celent Global
Payments Database

3

 

What Does the Database Contain?

3

 

What Does the Database Not Contain?

5

 

Methodologies and Approach

6

The Big Picture in 2001

7

 

Payments: Differently the Same?

8

 

Two Trends Stand Out

9

Cash Is King, and Will Be for Many Years to Come

11

Checks: Steady Decline Continues

13

Credit Transfer: Speed Becomes the Opportunity

16

Direct Debit: Europe at the Forefront

19

Debit Card: The World’s Favourite

22

Credit Card: In Credit, But Only Just?

24

Where Next for Banks

26

Conclusion

28

Appendix

29

Leveraging Celent’s Expertise

30

 

Support for Financial Institutions

30

 

Support for Vendors

30

Related Celent Research

31

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