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Visa sees e-commerce boom as high-street suffers

15 Jan 2013

E-commerce sales in Europe continue to grow rapidly with Visa reporting online payments topping €200bn in 2012 for the first time.

Visa reported the 16 percent year-on-year spike in e-commerce in its quarterly financial report on Tuesday. The figure means that 20 percent of Europe's card payments are now made online.

The UK saw an notable increase, with e-commerce levels growing by 11.5 percent to reach £96bn. With total UK spending reaching £407bn, the figure means e-commerce now accounts almost a quarter of the country's total Visa spending.

"E-commerce has become the fastest growing part of our business and is set to grow further as the market continues to mature," said Visa Europe chief executive, Peter Ayliffe.

Visa also reported detecting a similar boom in contactless payments levels claiming the number of contactless transactions in Europe quadrupled in 2012. The company cited the popularity of mobile payment near field communication technology as key reason for the increase.

"We have benefited from our investment in technology and security, which not only helped us deliver 100 percent processing availability and record low levels of fraud in 2012, but also enabled us to showcase mobile contactless payments at the London Olympics," said Ayliffe.

"The year ahead will see us putting mobile contactless payments into consumers' hands and introducing digital wallets on a mass scale for the first time."

Visa said it expected to see contactless payments quadruple again in 2013, predicting that by the end of 2013 there will be 33.7 million contactless cards and 175,000 terminals in the UK.

The news follows on from the closure of several big name high street stores. Most recently former entertainment heavyweight HMV was placed into administration.

The stores closure has generally been attributed to the growth of e-commerce and customers tendency to prefer shopping online using services like Amazon, iTunes or Xbox Music.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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