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MENAFN - The Peninsula - 10/07/2010

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(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The worlds largest retail electronic payments network " Visa Incorporated " has reported a growth of 19.4 percent in payment transactions across the GCC in the first quarter of this year.

The increase in transaction growth followed a successful year for Visa in terms of extending its debit business in the region.

The payment solutions provider formed a number of key debit partnerships with leading GCC based banks in 2009 which aimed to improve the card payment experience for cardholders, by providing increased debit card capabilities and convenience.

Visas successful debit signings for 2009 include deals with: ADIB; Emirates NBD; HSBC; Dubai Islamic Bank; Doha Bank Qatar; Bahrain Islamic Bank Bahrain; NBK Kuwait and KFH Kuwait.

As part of the partnerships, Visa will support all eight banks to develop their debit portfolios and enhance customer experiences by increasing usage capabilities. The increased debit offering will provide GCC cardholders with increased flexibility, convenience and security that Visa debit products offer.

The growing success of debit in the GCC region is evident from data collected by Visa in the first three months of 2010 which records payment transaction growth up by 19.4 percent while nominal payment growth also rose by 18.9 percent across the GCC in the same period.

Kamran Siddiqi, Visa General Manager, Middle East said the signing of all eight debit deals in 2009 is a reflection of the growing popularity of debit in the region. We have seen increased demand for products such as debit which allow cardholders to keep their spending within a budget while still providing them with access to their funds. The signing of all eight deals, which have extended the debit offering for cardholders across the GCC, combined with growing demand among consumers has led to double digit growth in the first three months of 2010 in payment transactions, Siddiqi said.

Siddiqi added the signings are an important step for Visa in bringing the associated debit card advantages to GCC customers.

Visa cardholders see the benefit and convenience of using debit products, such as the ability to access funds at 1.6 million ATMs worldwide, the flexibility to pay now by using funds on deposit, while managing their budgets and enjoying the security, reliability and convenience of using Visa, he said.


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