Nilson Report

Issue 1144 | Dec 2018


Companies featured in this issue include:

Consumer Payment Systems in the U.S. 2017

Investments & Acquisitions—November 2018

Card Shipments: Phone, Prepaid, Transportation, Nonpayment 2017

U.S. Consumer Payment Systems—Paper, Cards, Electronic

Personal Consumption Expenditures in the U.S.

Top Credit Card Issuers by Purchase Volume & Country 2017

Mastercard & Visa Worldwide through 3rd Quarter 2018

Mastercard & Visa Worldwide through 3rd Quarter 2018

Global purchase volume in the Visa and Mastercard networks reached $9.377 trillion for the first nine months of 2018. The U.S. total was $3.843 trillion.

1. Visa Worldwide
$6.186 trillion, +11.0%
2. Mastercard Worldwide
$3.191 trillion, +14.9%
3. Worldwide totals
$9.377, +12.3%

Full access to the Mastercard & Visa Worldwide through 3rd Quarter 2018 results is available when you subscribe to The Nilson Report.



McLear Smart Payment Rings

Visa and Gemalto are partners with McLear, inventor of the EMV-compliant contactless payment ring. From a plant in China, McLear has manufactured more than 350,000 rings, which are available in white or black scratchproof and waterproof hypoallergenic zirconium. The rings never need to be charged or plugged in. McLear holds patents in the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific for contactless payment rings related to materials (ceramic), electronics (antenna), and more. Rings in other colors as well as in gold and silver will be available in 2019. 

Bankwest in Australia, a unit of Commonwealth Bank, has marketed McLear rings since the beginning of this year. They have become the bank’s top new account acquisition tool. Wirecard recently signed a contract to offer the rings in the U.K. McLear will launch programs in 2019 with banks in the U.S., Japan, Spain, Germany, and Slovakia. Banks can negotiate exclusive deals for their country. 

McLear manages all inventory and arrangements for payment card account personalization from Gemalto through a portal used by cardholders. Payments, which are tied to Visa and Mastercard (and soon American Express) cards, are secured through tokenization provided by Visa or Mastercard. Banks can connect their mobile apps to the McLear payment ring through an API or deploy the McLear app directly. McLear contactless payment rings use Infineon chips. 

Setting up a McLear ring account requires cardholders to take a picture of a driver’s license, passport, or some other document to verify their identity. McLear does not retain the documentation.

A companion mobile app lets cardholders review spending, including the number of times they have visited a business, along with net spend over the last 15 days. The app has an auto top-up feature to support prepaid accounts.

The company will soon introduce new features, including connecting to loyalty programs and using the ring to unlock cars, homes, computers, and phones.

McLear received $23 million in Series A funding led by brand development company MTG. 

Nicoli Prencipe is Managing Director at McLear, Ltd. in London, U.K., (310) 728-9994,,

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