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August 27, 2010

Brazilian retailers lead the way with store cards

Retailer payment cards are thriving in Brazil and the Americas, but are thin on the ground in the Middle East.

By Verdict Staff

Retailer payment cards are thriving in Brazil and the Americas, but are “thin on the ground” in the Middle East.

A report by market research and consulting firm, Finaccord has shows 76.5 percent of retailers surveyed in Brazil have launched a payment card of their own, followed by 70.3 percent in Canada and 57.9 percent in Peru.

Retailer payment cards seem to be widespread across the Americas with eight Latin and North American countries featuring in the top 15.

Portugal is the highest European country, coming in fourth place with 56.6 percent of retailers surveyed with payment cards. Spain was the only other European country that ranked in the top 15.

At the other end of the scale, no retailer payment cards were identified in Kuwait and Qatar, followed by Bahrain with 1.9 percent and Saudi Arabia with 2.3 percent. .

India, Russia and Vietnam showed few co-branded or store cards which Finaccord claims is due to their under-developed payment markets.

The report cites Turkey as a different example. As retailers usually affiliate themselves with bank owned coalition loyalty programmes, there appears to be insufficient need to develop their own payment cards.

“Co-branding and partnership strategy is a key subject for issuers of payment cards worldwide,” said Alan Leach, director of Finaccord.

“In fact, major retailers constitute the most important partner category measured in terms of the number of cards that they can potentially issue and, in many cases, in terms of profitability.

“A significant number [of retailer payment cards] continue to be issued either by the retailers themselves or by captive banks owned by those retailers. This signifies that there may be significant potential for conventional card issuers, including banks, to acquire the existing cardholder portfolios of retail groups by purchasing equity stakes in their captive card issuing operations.”

The study is based on a survey of 6,280 retail brands in 65 countries. It identified 1,945 retailer payment cards, over 2,500 proprietary retailer loyalty programs and over 100 coalition loyalty schemes.

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