Venezuela’s Cards and Payments Industry: Emerging Opportunities, Trends, Size, Drivers, Strategies, Products and Competitive Landscape

Date: 2015-09

“Venezuela is one of the founding members of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and is one of the world’s biggest exporters of crude oil. The global crisis severely affected the Venezuelan economy, with the GDP growth contracting to reach -3.20% in 2009. Since early 2013, the country has faced food shortages, high inflation, and pressures on fixed currency exchange regulations. In a bid to revive the economy, the government is attempting to tackle problems in the core areas such the supply of goods, import of food staples, labor, and international travel. In May 2014, the government increased minimum wages by 30%, followed by increase in average salary of public administration workers and civil servants by 43% in July. The anticipated growth in economy over the forecast period (2014–2018) will have a positive effect on the card payments channel.
The Venezuelan card payments channel grew in value and volume terms during the review period (2009–2013). The channel grew from 24.7 million cards in circulation in 2009 to 34.6 million in 2013, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.77% and is anticipated to further post a CAGR of 6.74% over the forecast period, to reach 49.1 million in 2018. In terms of transaction value, the card payments channel grew VEF189.5 billion (US$88.3 billion) in 2009 to VEF845.3 billion (US$138.2 billion) in 2013, at a review-period CAGR of 45.32% and is anticipated to post a forecast-period CAGR of 21.50%, to reach to VEF2.5 trillion (US$139 billion) in 2018.
Banks in Venezuela are focusing on offering banking and financial services to customers residing in urban and rural areas, through low-cost channels such as internet and mobile banking and self-service terminals. This strategy serves several purposes: banks are able to reduce branch establishment costs, while customers benefit from not waiting in long queues, and can also avoid being robbed. Consequently, most Venezuelan consumers are open to modern payment methods.
In terms of transaction value, the debit and credit card categories recorded respective review-period CAGRs of 50.87% and 27.62%. In 2013, the value of debit card transactions at POS terminals was marginally greater than at ATMs, representing 51.8% of the total debit cards transaction value. Similarly, the value of credit cards transactions at POS terminals was greater than that at ATMs, representing 95% of the total credit cards transaction value. Increasing use of debit and credit cards at POS terminals and the growing need for credit among middle-class families are anticipated to increase card transaction values over the forecast period.”


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