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Card Payments in APAC Region Sees Strong Rebound Post COVID-19

  • Asia-Pacific (APAC) region will continue to dominate the global card payments market in 2022, with a 57.8% share of global card payments by value
  • Card payments market in the region is dominated by China, followed by South Korea, Japan, and Australia
  • Card payments in the region in 2020 was impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, registering a decline of 0.4% due to reduced consumer spending. The market is now on a recovery path and expected to register 16.5% growth in 2022 to reach $28.4 trillion

Card payments in the APAC region grew at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.8% between 2017 to 2021 to reach $24.4 trillion in 2021. The growth was supported by rising banked population, improving payment infrastructure, growing consumer preference for electronic payments, and rising merchant acceptance.

The card payments in the region, which had been on a growth path for the past few years registered a decline of 0.4% in 2020 due to reduced consume spending amid COVID-19, as strict lockdown measures and travel restrictions were implemented to contain the pandemic. Easing of lockdown restrictions and resumption in economic activities helped recovery in card payments in 2021, registering a strong growth of 15.6%.

The COVID-19 pandemic also highlighted the importance of non-cash payments. As people are avoiding cash to minimise their exposure to disease vectors, it is further accelerating the shift from cash to electronic payments. As a result, card payments are expected to grow by 16.5% in 2022 to reach $28.4 trillion.

Card payments in APAC region is dominated by China, which is expected to grow by 16.9% in 2022 to reach $24.9 trillion in 2022. China is distantly followed by South Korea with expected card payments value of $895.4 billion, Japan with $787.8 billion, and Australia with $602.3 billion in 2022.

The outlook for APAC’s card payments looks bright supported by revival in economic activities, rising consumer spending, and growing preference for digital payments. While COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty associated with it disrupted card payments, the resumption of business activities is bringing it back on growth trajectory. Overall, card payments are expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.9% between 2021 and 2025 to reach $39.7 trillion in 2025.

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