Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


Nov 12, 2013

Surveys, Studies & Research

Holiday Shoppers Prepare to Hit the Web




As consumers gear up for the holidays, it’s clear we’re in for another growth year in eCommerce.  According to new data from the Visa Spending Intentions survey, 87 percent of people plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping online this year, with 40 percent saying they will do half or more gift-buying online.  That’s good news for retailers, knowing that 72 percent of people also plan to spend more or the same amount of money on gifts this year, compared to last year.

In the first 10 months of 2013, eCommerce sales are up 17 percent from the same period last year, and Visa domestic eCommerce transactions exceeded one billion dollars on 211 days, an increase of 19 percent from 2012.

Other key findings from the Visa Spending Intentions survey include:

Electronic Payments are the Norm

  • 25 percent of respondents plan to use their mobile phone or tablet for holiday shopping this year, up from 22 percent last year
  • Credit and debit cards will be the primary form of payments through the holidays, with 56 percent of people planning to use their credit card and 30 percent to use a debit card

The Holidays are Big Business, for Big and Small Businesses

  • Almost 50 percent expect to spend between $301 and $800, while 14 percent plan to spend more than $800
  • More than 85 percent of consumers are as, or more, inclined to shop at a small business this year, compared to last year

Beat the Crowds, with a Tap of the Finger

  • Online holiday shopping has become the preferred way to shop for a number of reasons, including:
    • Fits my schedule better/Can shop anytime (67 percent)
    • Better prices online (61 percent)
    • Dislike battling crowds (54 percent)

Each year, millions of shoppers rely on Visa for holiday-related purchases, providing a near real-time view into consumer behavior. If you wish to receive regular updates throughout the holiday season, send an email to [email protected] or follow ongoing updates at

* 2013 VisaNet Data

Survey Methodology:

This survey was conducted for Visa by Prosper Insights and Analytics via an online sample of over 4,600 U.S. consumers aged 18 and over.


Posted by: Wayne Best, Chief Economist, Visa on November 12, 2013 at 7:00 am

Aug 2, 2013

Are Travellers Addicted to Gadgets?

What gadgets are a traveller’s best friends and what do they use them for? And which country has the most connected travellers?

BBC Fast Track presenter, Carmen Roberts, speaks to Visa’s Ross Jackson on what Visa’s Global Travel Intentions Study revealed around the influence of technology on travel – pre, during and post-trip.


To find out more about the Study, download a copy of the report here


Posted by: Jag Mistry, Corporate Relations, Visa Inc. on August 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Jun 17, 2013

High-Five Your Local Small Business – It’s National Small Business Week!

Where did you pick up your dry cleaning today? Or grab those flowers on your way home from work? Chances are you went to a local small business. Small businesses have been fueling the economy for years, providing niche products and services with personal style. According to the SBA Office of Advocacy, small businesses created nearly 12 million net new jobs between 1993 and 2011.


While we are dedicated to helping small businesses all year-round, this week we give special thanks for all your hard work and personal dedication.

To learn more about how Visa supports small businesses, visit


Posted by: Janet Zablock, Head of Global Small Business, Visa Inc. on June 17, 2013 at 9:13 am

Apr 24, 2013

Global Travel Budgets On the Rise: Visa’s Latest Travel Barometer Confirms Industry Growth

This week, Visa announced the results of its latest iteration of its Global Travel Intentions Study series – a look into the behavioral trends of today’s traveler. Responses from the 12,631 travelers from the 25 countries surveyed are split by region and include destination choice, spending habits, budgets, transport preferences and future intentions, all of which reveal a thriving and rapidly evolving travel landscape.

One of the most interesting findings is that budgets are no longer the top concern when choosing a holiday destination. The pull of attractions, scenery and rich cultural experiences are now stronger reasons for travel.

As if that wasn’t good news enough for the Travel and Tourism industry, the Study also showed that global travel budgets are set to increase. While global average budgets for travelers will increase by at least five percent, travelers from Asian markets are expected to increase their budgets by an average of 46 percent.

Amid the global economic uncertainty of the past four years, these findings hint at a welcome change in both the financial landscape and consumer mindset, suggesting either economic recovery or a growing aptitude for budget management. Both herald further good news for the health of international and national economies and will provide exciting opportunities for everyone involved in the Travel and Tourism industry globally.

Visa has long advocated that, as one of the world’s largest, most robust and democratic industries, Travel and Tourism has enormous potential to contribute towards stimulating economic growth, creating opportunity for wealth in both mature and emerging economies. In developing economies particularly, tourism provides a gateway to economic progress and electronic payments have played an important role by allowing countries to capture greater tourist spending and providing travelers with a form of exchange that is secure and convenient.

By identifying changes and developments that allow for a better understanding of the Travel and Tourism environment, the Study is part of Visa’s commitment to increase the collective level of information that the industry can use to make intelligent decisions – to benefit both the traveler and the industry at large. Cross-border understanding and co-ordination have never been more important for the Travel and Tourism industry, and Visa is committed to using the results of the Global Travel Intentions Study 2013 to help private and public partners understand and meet global demand, promoting growth across the industry.

For a summary of the results and for more detailed information on the Global Travel Intentions Study 2013, please visit this link.


Posted by: Jag Mistry, Corporate Relations, Visa Inc. on April 24, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Feb 27, 2013

Voices of Inclusion: Daryl Collins, Author & BFA Director

From the show floor at Mobile World Congress, Visa’s Head of Corporate Responsibility, Douglas Sabo interviews thought leaders from the public, private and NGO sectors about the impact mobile services are having on financial inclusion efforts around the world.

Next in the series, Douglas sits down with Daryl Collins, Author of Portfolios of the Poor and Director at Bankable Frontier Associates (BFA) for an extended discussion of the research recently released BFA, the GSMA mWomen Programme and Visa Inc. exploring how women around the world manage their money and how mobile money services can help meet their financial needs.

Among her insights, Daryl shares information about how the money management techniques of women differ from men and the importance of the income that women earn and contribute to family expenses. Daryl shared additional information from the study, including what women reported as the most appealing features of mobile financial services: convenience, security and privacy.

Daryl Collins, Author of Portfolios of the Poor and Director at Bankable Frontier Associates

Other videos in the “Voices of Inclusion” series:

Dr. Maura O’Neill, USAID

Chris Locke, GSMA Mobile for Development

Elizabeth Berthe, Mercy Corps

Cherie Blair, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women



Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on February 27, 2013 at 8:50 am

Feb 27, 2013

A Dollar a Day, Slowly Frittered Away

Keeping track of cash can be a hassle, especially with today’s busy – and increasingly globe-trotting – lifestyle. In fact, the recent Visa Payment Attitudes Study has revealed that we lose on average US$365 each year by using cash instead of cards. If you worked from 20 years old until you were 65 and lost that much every year, it would amount to a whopping US$16,425!

This consists of US$80 worth of idle change just lying around the home, car or office, and US$285 worth of unused foreign currency lost after trips abroad. This seemingly small amount, that averages a dollar a day, is actually equivalent to the cost of 6.5 grams of gold or supporting a family of four in Bangladesh for a year!

The study also revealed that keeping tabs on our hard-earned money and worrying about carrying cash around is a concern for us too. The majority of respondents (54 percent) said the key reason they have a debit card is because it is more convenient to carry around, rather than being weighed down by a large amount of cash. They also like debit because you can use it to make online purchases (45 percent) and to keep their finances in check, with over half (53 percent) saying it is good for smart financial management because the payment is debited directly from their regular bank account.

We’ve long known that carrying cash can be inconvenient and unreliable, and now this research proves that we are out of pocket by using cash too! See the infographic below for a breakdown of the results and which countries are losing out on the most by sticking to cash…

 For more on the study visit


Posted by: Jag Mistry, Corporate Relations, Visa Inc. on February 27, 2013 at 6:35 am

Feb 25, 2013

Unlocking the Potential: Women and Mobile Financial Services in Emerging Markets

Visa, in conjunction with the GSMA mWomen Programme and Bankable Frontier Associates, is pleased to announce the release of Unlocking the Potential: Women and Mobile Financial Services in Emerging Markets. This new report identifies the financial needs of women living at the bottom of the pyramid; key findings include:

  • Women actively contribute to household income. Seventy-five percent of women surveyed contribute some amount of income, most often from irregular sources like small businesses or agricultural sales.
  • Women use a variety of tools to manage household finances. Nearly 60 percent of women surveyed are saving money for daily expenses and long-term needs, and a full one-third pay the family’s utility bills or make other types of remittances.
  • Women recognize the security and privacy of mobile money. In Kenya, for example, 95 percent of women using mobile remittances rated them as secure and private. In comparison, only half of those using personal delivery of cash as their primary method consider it secure and private.

Additionally, the study identifies actionable next steps for mobile financial service providers that want to expand their business to reach this untapped market, including: increasing mobile access for women; providing better financial literacy services to encourage awareness and understanding; delivering high-quality customer service; and developing targeted solutions to existing barriers faced by women in these markets.

This effort is part of Visa’s ongoing efforts to advance financial inclusion in the developing world. Given that women make up a majority of the 2.5 billion adults who lack access to formal financial products, this report has particular significance for these efforts. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners to bring more underserved women into the financial mainstream, thereby reducing the cycle of poverty throughout the world.

For more information on the report, please click here. To read the full report, please visit the GSMA website.



Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on February 25, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Nov 21, 2012

‘Tis the Season for Ringing Checkout Registers

It’s the time of year when retailers hope that you’ve made Santa’s “Nice” list, so there are lots of presents under the tree and all stockings are stuffed! So far, early indications suggest that the season will be jolly, keeping Santa and his reindeers’ travel schedules fully booked.

The National Retail Federation predicts holiday shopping will increase 4.1 percent to $586 billion this year. Additionally, this week Adobe predicted online sales on Cyber Monday would top $2 billion this year, representing an 18 percent increase over 2011. Also of note: a prediction that mobile commerce would represent more than one-fifth (21 percent) of all online sales this holiday season.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are typically thought of as two of the busiest holiday shopping days of the year, a closer look at our United States-driven eCommerce data may suggest otherwise. We tasked some of our holiday number-crunching elves at Visa to look at debit and credit card purchases over the past 10 holiday seasons and found some interesting trends:

  • Weekend warriors: With a few notable exceptions (Black Friday, Cyber Monday), shopping volumes tend to climb significantly on Saturday and Sunday and drop off during the weekdays. [No matter which day you shop, if you are doing it online, by Visa can help simplify the process.]
  • eCommerce excellence: According to Forrester, shoppers are expected to spend $226 million online this year alone.
  • Shopping strongholds: The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are BUSY shopping days—but not the busiest of the year.
  • Procrastination purchasing: Waiting until the last minute to buy gifts means a rush before Christmas. Over the last 10 years, December 22, 23 and 24th have been the busiest shopping days of the holiday season.

Whether past trends hold true this holiday season, or other days emerge as shopping surprises remains to be seen. One thing is for certain: checkout registers – whether online, mobile or in stores – will be busy ringing with the holiday sounds of spending.


Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on November 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Sep 25, 2012

Busting Myths, One Gen Y at a Time

If you were asked to paint a portrait of the modern young adult, most people would list traits such as Smartphone-fanatics, financially irresponsible, perhaps even self-centered. But Visa’s recent survey ‘Connecting with the Millennials’, discovered that these young people are in fact family-centered, aspiring entrepreneurs and financially savvy. The millennials we spoke to save on average up to 32 percent of their income. This can be converted to annual savings valued at USD $300 billion. That is almost on par with the GDP for the United Arab Emirates – an oil exporting nation!

And the best news is? They love using their cards and in particular, their debit card. It keeps them on track financially, they like the convenience of paying bills using their card and a massive 70 percent do so because they don’t want the hassle of carrying cash around with them.

See the infographic below for more on their spending power and why cash is passé for today’s young consumers

For more on the survey visit


Posted by: Jag Mistry, Corporate Relations, Visa Inc. on September 25, 2012 at 9:52 am

Aug 3, 2012

Postcards From London: Let’s Go Shopping!

Visa Westfield Stratford

If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of people making their way to Olympic Park for the opening day of athletics, odds are that there will be some long lines exiting to return to your hotel or residence.

While you can choose to brave the crowds and cram into the tube cars with everyone else, I offer a less stressful alternative–go shopping!

Just outside the Olympic Park is Westfield Stratford with tons of incredible shopping. You really can’t miss it–it is a massive shopping center and has lots of really big Visa advertisements throughout.  As a special treat for travelers, many of the shops are well into the spirit of the London 2012 Olympic Games and have special promotions and displays supporting their teams and the games.

Our recent data indicates that global visitors spent more than $700 million on their Visa accounts in the opening week of London 2012. So skip the initial tube crowding, relax a bit and go shopping!


Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on August 3, 2012 at 4:09 am