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Mastercard and Visa Gain Global Share Amidst China’s Spending Slowdown


Mastercard and Visa Gain Global Share Amidst China’s Spending Slowdown

A decline in total Chinese card spend means that UnionPay has a reduced share of overall purchase volume. Visa and Mastercard gained share at UnionPay’s expense, and these three networks combined represented most of the card volume worldwide in 2022

Decrease in Chinese card spending reflects decline in consumer confidence

According to the Global Cards and Payments study by RBR Data Services, a division of Datos Insights, UnionPay continues to account for the largest share of global card purchase volume, with this network accounting for 95% of overall spend in China. A decline in consumer confidence, brought on by the reduction in industrial output and a weakened domestic property market, means that Chinese card purchase volume has fallen. This greatly affected UnionPay’s global share, with the network accounting for 43% of purchase volume in 2022, down from 48% the year before. Consequently, both Visa and Mastercard gained two percentage points of market share.

If China is taken out of the equation, UnionPay accounts for less than 1% of overall global purchase volume, with Visa representing the largest share, followed by Mastercard. Visa maintains the largest global share of purchase volume in the credit sector, whilst Mastercard continues to have the largest share of prepaid card volume. Together, these three networks, including their sub-brands, account for 91% of global card expenditure.

Pie chart showing volume share by card network

Domestic card networks see increased share as countries seek alternatives to global networks

RBR Data Services’ research shows that more than USD 1 trillion was spent on domestic-only cards worldwide, marking the first time that the total has surpassed the nine-figure mark. Governments in various markets, such as Turkey, Indonesia and India, have encouraged the use of domestic networks, with the aim of reducing dependence on international networks. This contributed to 7% growth in the number of single-badged domestic cards across the world in 2022.

The growth of domestic networks, however, is not expected to have any significant impact on overall market shares going forward. The size of the Chinese market means that UnionPay is expected to continue to be the largest international network for the foreseeable future. Daniel Dawson, who led the Global Cards and Payments research, remarked: “The size of the Chinese market will continue to drive UnionPay’s share, but other international networks look set to maintain their strong position across the rest of the world”.


Notes to editors

About RBR Data Services  

RBR Data Services provides clients with independent and reliable data and insights through published research, consulting and bespoke data services. Our global research covers the cards and payments, retail technology and banking automation sectors and is used by the leading market participants, analysts and regulators as the authoritative source of industry and competitor benchmark data. For any questions about this release, please contact [email protected].

About Datos Insights 

Datos Insights delivers the most comprehensive and industry-specific data and advice to the companies trusted to protect and grow the world’s assets, and to the technology and service providers who support them. Staffed by experienced industry executives, researchers, and consultants, we support the world’s most progressive banks, insurers, investment firms, and technology companies through a mix of insights and advisory subscriptions, data services, custom projects and consulting, conferences, and executive councils.

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