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Saudi Arabia has reported an annual transaction of SR47.2 billion worth of cash and purchases via Visa card
Riyadh, 26th August 2001

  Saudi Arabia has reported an annual transaction of SR47.2 billion worth of cash and purchases via Visa card, the world’s leading payment card. The figure covers transactions during the year ending March 2001.

This was disclosed here yesterday by Rob Clark, Visa International’s vice president for business development.

Clark said that the total number of Visa cards distributed in Saudi Arabia exceeded 1.9 million this year, compared to one million in 1999, demonstrating the sophistication of the electronic payment industry and the increasing consumer preference for convenience and safety over cash.

He said that the Kingdom has traditionally been Visa’s biggest market among the Gulf states especially in terms of cardholder expenditure and number of cards issued. An independent survey conducted recently indicated that 65 percent of Saudi Visa cardholders use their visa card for personal/family shopping, and 60 percent for personal travel and entertainment purposes.

Asked about the growth in terms of issuance of Visa cards, Clark said that the number of the cards in Saudi Arabia rose by 30 percent during the current year compared to a year before. The expenditure through Visa cards, he said, grew by 37 percent in the Kingdom alone, where Visa card is the most preferred card according to a global monitoring agency.

He said that the automation drive and growth of local electronic industry especially introduced by the banking sector in Saudi Arabia has led to the introduction of new products and services in different areas.

Clark said that the Middle East region as a whole has great potential for Visa. Banks in the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe and Africa run the fastest-growing Visa businesses in the world. Over the last five years, they have consistently shown the highest percentage increase in card numbers, transaction numbers and sales volume.

Source: © ArabNews

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26 August 2001 05:45:42 PM

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