China's UnionPay surpassed Visa for the first time in 2022, securing 40.03 percent of global debit card transactions, China Media Group (CMG) reported on Sunday, citing latest statistics compiled by industry platform Nilson Report.
"Debit cards with the UnionPay brand held a market share of 40.03 percent of all debit card purchase transactions, an increase of 139 basis points (bps)," read the Nilson Report.
Visa's share of debit card transactions was down 82 bps to 38.78 percent in 2022, ranking second to UnionPay, according to the report.
Throughout the global networks, debit cards accounted for 63.88 percent of total purchase transactions in 2022. "For Visa, debit card purchase transactions were 63.91 percent of the network's worldwide total, down 198 bps. UnionPay purchase transactions were 75.12 percent debit, an increase of 182 bps," Nilson Report said.
When comparing worldwide purchase volume—spending for goods and services—by product type, UnionPay debit cards claimed the largest market share for a tenth consecutive year. UnionPay credit cards ranked second, followed by Visa credit cards, Mastercard credit cards and others.
From 2011 to 2021, the market share of Visa's debit card transaction has dropped from nearly 80 percent to 39.53 percent; while UnionPay's share within the payment system jumped from nearly zero to 38.68 percent, according to the CMG report.
As a subsidiary of China UnionPay focusing on global businesses, UnionPay International has entered into partnerships with more than 2,500 institutions worldwide and has enabled card acceptance in 181 countries and regions with issuance in 79 countries and regions, according to the company.
Within the Asian-Pacific region, one out of every four new bank cards issued is a UnionPay card, Xinhua News Agency reported in October 2022.
The broader context is the steady path to globalization of the Chinese currency yuan. It has become the world's fifth-largest payment currency, the third-largest currency in trade settlement, and the fifth-largest reserve currency, official data revealed.