Nilson Report

Issue 1225 | Aug 2022


Companies featured in this issue include:

Asia-Pacific Global Network Cards Market Shares in 2021

Spending, Transactions and Cards by Global Brand in Asia-Pacific

Market Shares of Purchase Transactions in Asia-Pacific 2011-2021

Top 5 Mastercard and Visa Issuers in Middle East and Africa 2011 vs. 2021

Top Card Issuers in the Middle East and Africa–2021

Top 50 Credit Card Issuers in the Middle East and Africa–2021

Top 50 Debit Card Issuers in the Middle East and Africa–2021

Investments & Acquisitions–July 2022

Top 50 Debit Card Issuers in the Middle East and Africa–2021

The 50 largest issuers of credit cards and debit cards are ranked on pages 8 and 9 based on purchase volume generated in 2021. The five largest debit card issuers are listed here.

1. Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia
$21.06 billion
2. FirstBank, Nigeria
$20.97 billion
3. Kuwait Finance, Kuwait
$18.20 billion
4. Saudi National, Saudi Arabia
$14.29 billion
5. Boubyan Bank, Kuwait
$11.64 billion

Full access to the Top 50 Debit Card Issuers results in the Middle East and Africa for 2021 is available when you subscribe to the Nilson Report.



Nexi and Microsoft are Partners

Azure, the cloud computing service of Microsoft, will host digital services for Nexi, a top European provider of merchant acquiring, card account processing, digital banking and corporate payment services. 

Nexi is the second largest payment acceptance acquirer in Europe, where it supports 2.4 million merchant locations. It also provides account processing for 170 million debit and credit cards. It says it is connected to 65% of consumer consumption expenditures in more than 25 countries in Europe in which it operates. Since 2017, Nexi has grown through mergers and acquisitions, including SIA and Nets. The company plans to migrate several data centers to Microsoft. 

Nexi has started moving to Microsoft’s public cloud. The process began in Italy and will be rolled out to other countries. Concurrently, Microsoft has designated Nexi as a preferred payment provider for its digital sales in Europe. That deal starts with Italy, Norway, Denmark and Finland. In Italy (Bancomat Pay), Denmark (Dankort), Finland (Paytrail), Norway (BankAxept) and Poland (P24 Polski), Nexi owns and/or operates the national switch that handles domestic card and mobile payments.

The partners will jointly go to market with Nexi APIs integrated with products and services from independent software vendors (ISV) that use Microsoft technology and Microsoft marketplaces. The integration will also involve Microsoft-owned software companies, startups, embedded payments in Microsoft products and services and more. It will begin with ISVs that use Microsoft technology directly or indirectly through Azure. 

Nexi wants to create an onboarding process for those ISV customers and other online sellers that requires only a few clicks to activate its payment acceptance services. Once the process is established in Italy, with about 2,000 ISVs and tech companies, it will be replicated in other countries in Europe. 

Microsoft and Nexi are evaluating other joint projects that would link new digital payment services with merchants and businesses that buy products and services directly from Microsoft. Italy would be the first market. Also under consideration is pursuit of business with small and midsized merchants, government agencies and enterprise customers. 


Daniele Gabbai is Head of Strategic Partnerships & Ecosystem at Nexi in Milan, Italy,,

Prior issues: 1219, 1202, 1197, 1189, 1186, 1185, 1184, 1180, 1150

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