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

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

“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.