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Mon 6 Jun 2011 04:07 PM

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MasterCard sees double digit growth in Middle East

Card payments processor saw increase in spending on plastic amid political turmoil

MasterCard sees double digit growth in Middle East
MasterCard

MasterCard,
the world’s second-biggest payments processor, is seeing double digital growth
in the Middle East as the economy improves and consumers are spending more, its
regional head of operations said.

More
consumers used their debt and credit cards amid the political turmoil in
Bahrain, Libya and Egypt as banks were closed and access to cash became
difficult, the payments processor said Monday.

“We’re
definitely growing in high double digits, even this year. Our marketshare seems
to be improving in most markets across the Middle East,” Raghu Malhotra,
general manager of MasterCard Worldwide Middle East told Arabian Business.

MasterCard
in May said its first quarter revenue increased 14.8 percent to $1.5bn as
consumers spent more on their credit and debit cards and bought more than just
necessities.

Global
purchase volume increased 12.9 percent, the highest quarterly rate since the
third quarter of 2008, said MasterCard.

The
political turmoil in the region helped boost business in some countries in the
region, said Malhotra. “In Libya the banking system had shut down…. people
still need to shop and buy their groceries and there was no access to cash
because the branches had shut down; that’s when we see the power of electronic
payments come in,” he said.

Consumer
spend in the region is resilient, he added.

“The one
thing we have noticed in markets across the Middle East is that they are very
resilient. They bounce back very quickly and go back to exactly the same point
that they left off.”

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