Visa and MasterCard kick off 2017 on positive note
Visa and MasterCard report a resilient set of results with Visa in particular performing strong.
At Visa, highlights included transaction volume up 41% year over year while the number of issued cards is up 28% year over year. Net revenue increased by 25%.
There remains huge growth opportunities in Europe for further cash displacement and from a parochial point of view, Visa is entitled to be upbeat about its soon to open European innovation centre in the UK.
At MasterCard, while revenue analyst forecasts were missed by a fraction, there were encouraging signs of reliable growth and successful cost management initiatives.
MasterCard was also able to report progress in China. Its focus on driving single branded card issuance is paying off with Bank of China added in the last quarter, bringing the total number of programmes for single branded card issuance launched in 2016 to 44, with more than 10 banks.
Both Visa and MasterCard have been expending time and money in China in the hope of breaking the domestic monopoly and if they can just grab a small share of the market, the impact on their Asian business units can be material.
As for digital, CEO Ajay Banga was spot on in summarising strategy as ‘a marathon not a sprint’. In the UK, all eyes will be on MasterCard’s execution of the VocaLink deal.