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Asia-Pacific tops list of credit card users in 2000

Posted April. 02, 2001 18:40,   


With the use of credit cards rapidly increasing worldwide, a recent survey found that the Asia-Pacific region was showing remarkable growth in the usage rate.

According to MasterCard Korea, MasterCard International recorded $857 billion in global sales last year, up 21.5 percent from 1999. The company`s credit card sales showed two-digit growth for the seventh consecutive quarter, with the industry posting a 19-percent increase in sales in the fourth quarter last year despite a worldwide slump.

By region, the Asia-Pacific topped the list with 53.9 percent sales growth, including card purchases and cash services. Next came South America with 21.5 percent, the United States with 20.2 percent, Canada with 16.6 percent, Europe with 15.8 percent, and the Middle East and Africa with 14.8 percent each. By total sales, the United States occupied more than half the total market with $423 billion, recording the highest growth rate in the past six years.

Meanwhile, MasterCard issued a total of 437 million cards through its 20,000 or so member agencies throughout the world last year, up 15.4 percent from the previous year. The number of stores affiliated with MasterCard increased 12.7 percent from a year earlier to 21 million.