Nilson Report

Issue 1230 | Nov 2022


Companies featured in this issue include:

US Payment Cards Projected through 2026

US Payment Cards Projected—Purchase Transactions

US Payment Cards Purchase Volume—2021 vs. 2026

US Payment Cards Projected—Purchase Volume

US Payment Cards Projected—Cards

US Payment Cards Projected—Outstandings

US Payment Cards Projected—Cardholders

US Payment Cards Projected—Total Transactions

US Payment Cards Projected—Total Volume

US Outstandings in 2021

Top 50 General Purpose Card Issuers in Asia–Pacific

Top 50 Credit Card Issuers in Asia–Pacific

Top 50 Debit Card Issuers in Asia–Pacific

Publicly Traded Companies in Payments

Top 50 General Purpose Card Issuers in Asia-Pacific

The top 50 issuers of UnionPay, Visa, Mastercard, JCB, American Express, Diners Club and domestic-only credit cards in the Asia-Pacific region are ranked. The five largest Visa and Mastercard credit card issuers are listed here by purchase volume.

1. Sumitomo Mitsui Card, Japan
$153.40 billion purchase volume
2. China Construction Bank, China
$123.13 billion purchase volume
3. Mitsubishi UFJ Nicos, Japan
$101.95 billion purchase volume
4. Bank of Communications, China
$92.33 billion purchase volume
5. Westpac Banking, Australia
$91.57 billion purchase volume

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



Visa Direct Adds Digital Wallets with Thunes

Visa Inc., owner of VisaNet, the largest payment card network in the world based on merchant acceptance locations, has spent several years building Visa Direct, a capability within VisaNet for delivering funds transfers including remittances, payouts to independent contractors and other use cases for consumers and small businesses.  

Visa Direct recently added 1.5 billion endpoints through a partnership with Thunes. This raises the number of endpoints to the 7.0-billion range, including nearly 3.0 billion Visa brand cards, more than 2.0 billion bank accounts, and the 1.5 billion mobile wallets from Thunes.

Over the last six years, Thunes has built connections to 124 mobile network operators in 52 countries, giving it access to 2.8 billion mobile wallet accounts such as WeChat Pay in China, M-Pesa in Kenya and GCash in the Philippines. 

Thunes’s aim has been to offer senders a cross-border money transfer service that serves as an alternative to legacy correspondent bank networks and wire transfer channels. Legacy services operate at slower speeds and charge higher fees to senders and, sometimes, receivers. Thunes’s additional advantage is being able to deliver funds and provide proof of receipt within an hour.  

Thunes customers are banks (Commercial Bank of Dubai, Revolut, UOB), large payment businesses (FIS/Worldpay, Payoneer), remittance businesses (Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria) and marketplaces (Grab).

In total, Thunes can deliver funds in 130 countries and expects to reach 150–160 countries by the end of 2023. It gains the approval of the central banks in all jurisdictions and holds bank account balances in every country in local currencies to provide for instant clearing. It has near 100% coverage in all markets in which it operates. 

Like Visa, Thunes is a business-to-business, network-of-networks company. The 1.5 billion wallets Thunes brings to Visa Direct are held mostly by consumers in Africa, Asia and Latin America who do not have traditional bank accounts. Thunes also has a growing payment gateway business for online sellers of digital content through its Limontek subsidiary in France. The gateway gives sellers access to consumers in the Global South who need to pay using a mobile wallet.

Mobile wallet customers are critical to Visa Direct’s goals for expansion. It already counts as endpoints a majority of all consumers worldwide who have bank accounts.  

Further growth will come by reaching the remaining 800 million people in Africa, Asia and Latin America who have a mobile phone number but not a bank account or IBAN number. 

Visa Direct facilitated 5.9 billion transactions during Visa’s 2022 fiscal year. It is connected to over 2,000 money transfer programs at more than 500 companies. 

Visa is working with other companies to overcome the barriers to creating fully digital cross-border money transfer services. Most of those transactions continue to involve cash, whether paid in on the front end or paid out on the back end.


Ruben Salazar Genovez is Global Head of Visa Direct in Miami, Florida,,

Peter De Caluwe is Chief Executive Officer at Thunes in Singapore,,

Prior issues: 1226, 1223, 1215, 1210, 1209, 1199, 1150, 1148, 1141, 1135

© Copyright 2022 Nilson Report

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