Nilson Report

Issue 1184 | Oct 2020


Companies featured in this issue include:

Payment Cards Projected Worldwide 2019 vs. 2025

Payment Cards in Circulation 2019

Top General Purpose Card Issuers in Asia–Pacific 2019

Top 50 Credit Card Issuers in Asia–Pacific 2019

Top 50 Debit Card Issuers in Asia–Pacific 2019

Investments & Acquisitions—September 2020

Top General Purpose Card Issuers in Asia–Pacific

Tables on pages eight and nine rank the 50 largest issuers of general purpose credit, debit, and prepaid cards in the Asia–Pacific region based on purchase volume in 2019. Below are the top 5.

1. China Construction Bank, China
$2,356.57 billion purchase volume
2. ICBC, China
$1,552.90 billion purchase volume
3. Agricultural Bank, China
$1,375.92 billion purchase volume
4. China Merchants Bank, China
$996.16 billion purchase volume
5. Bank of China, China
$933.67 billion purchase volume

Full access to the Top General Purpose Card Issuers in the Asia–Pacific region results for 2019 is available to you when you subscribe to the Nilson Report.

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Castles Technology Buys Spire Payments

POS terminal manufacturer Castles Technology, which shipped over 3.2 million devices last year, has acquired all assets of Spire Payments, also a manufacturer of POS terminals. The value of the all-cash transaction was not disclosed. Taiwan-based Castles Technology has been in business for 25 years. The company’s shares have traded on the Taiwan Stock Exchange since 2016.

Spire Payments shipped 382,253 POS terminals last year to clients in the U.K., Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Iraq, Jordan, and the U.A.E. In addition to selling hardware, it provides terminal management services, a gateway, support for marketplaces, and other value-added services. In time, the Linux-based hardware that Spire Payments sells will convert to the Android-based architecture available from Castles.

Castles Technology shipped POS terminals last year to the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Southeast Asia, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan. It positions itself as a manufacturer of high-quality but affordable terminals. Clients include Nexi, First Data, Tsys, and Adyen.

The acquisition of Spire increases Castles Technology’s footprint in Europe just as the Worldline acquisition of Ingenico has been approved by European Union regulators. 

Castles, which has grown steadily in Europe over the last two years, expects to pick up business from customers of Ingenico that compete with Worldline. Castles also gains access to Spire’s value-added services assets, which it expects to sell to some of its existing hardware-only customers. 

The POS terminal market worldwide will consolidate further as smaller hardware-only companies seek to add scale as well as position themselves to sell value-added services. An exception in the near term are the China-based vendors that sell hardware mostly in China. That market continues to expand for terminals that sell at the lowest price points. 


Jean-Philippe Niedergang is Group Chief Commercial Officer at Castles Technology in Paris, France,,

Prior issues: 1182, 1160, 1138, 1122, 1114, 1095, 1092, 993

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