Recent findings from RBR Data Services, a branch of London-based Datos Insights, indicate that in 2022, cross-border transactions constituted 6% of the total global card volume, marking a one percentage point increase compared to the previous year. With the pandemic subsiding and travel restrictions easing, consumers have enthusiastically resumed booking overseas trips.
In addition, businesses have returned to in-person international meetings and conferences, despite the growth of virtual meetings and events during and since the pandemic.
E-commerce payments, which were boosted during the pandemic, are continuing to be driven by globalisation, with consumers increasingly shopping at online marketplaces based outside of their home countries.
The study, Global Cards and Payments, shows that while debit cards make up approximately half of all cross-border spending, credit cards are accounting for a growing proportion, as issuers are expanding the benefits offered on T&E credit products, such as fee-free overseas payments.
As many prepaid products are gift cards, they are often used to make e-commerce purchases, many of which are cross-border. However, due to the prepaid sector’s relatively small share of global card spending overall, its share of cross-border spending also remains low.
Almost half of the world’s cross-border card spending was made on cards issued in Asia-Pacific, with Singapore’s cross-border share of total purchase volume being the highest in the region.
The cross-border share of total purchase volume is lowest in the Americas region, at just 4%. While Canadian consumers and businesses often make in-person and online payments in the USA, cross-border payments are rarely made by US citizens themselves, largely due to the strength of the country’s domestic T&E and e-commerce sectors.
Daniel Dawson, who led RBR’s Global Cards and Payments study, commented: “While it was largely due to the easing of travel restrictions that cross-border card spending rose significantly in 2022, growth momentum will continue over the coming years. Not only are consumers becoming increasingly confident making card payments abroad, but purchases at foreign online stores are on the rise.”