Card usage adds PHP 4.6 billion to the Philippine economy in the past five years


Visa-commissioned study estimates migration to electronic payments added nearly US$300 billion to GDP across 70 countries between 2011 and 2015

Increased use of electronic payments, including credit, debit and prepaid cards, added US$100 million (approximately PHP 4.6 billion) to the Philippines’ economy from 2011 to 2015, according to research conducted by Moody’s Analytics for Visa. 

Increased electronic payment usage also created the equivalent to an average of 3,460 jobs in the Philippines per year in the same period.

Stuart Tomlinson, Visa Country Manager, Philippines and Guam said: “These findings reinforce the many positive benefits that electronic payments bring to local economies not just in the Philippines but all over the world. This research also suggests that the right public policies can create an open, competitive payment environment, and contribute to economic growth and job creation.”

Electronic payments are a key GDP driver for many regional economies. Asian countries experienced an average GDP increase of 0.06% resulting from increased card usage in the past five years – compared to the Philippines’ 0.01%. Within Southeast Asia, Thailand (0.19%), Vietnam (0.14%), and Singapore (0.1%) experienced the largest weighted average increase in GDP contribution.

“While electronic payments’ contribution to the national economy is sizeable, there are untapped opportunities for the nation. As the world’s largest retail electronic payment network [1], Visa works with financial institutions, merchants, technology companies, central banks and relevant government bodies to create a sustainable payment ecosystem accessible to everyone,” added Mr. Tomlinson.

The Moody's Analytics study analyzed the impact of electronic payments on economic growth across 70 countries between 2011 and 2015. The Visa-commissioned study found that increased use of electronic payment products, including credit, debit and prepaid cards, added US$296B to GDP, while raising household consumption of goods and services by an average of 0.18 percent per year.

In addition, Moody’s economists estimate that the equivalent to 2.6 million new jobs were created on average, annually, over the five-year period as a result of increased use of electronic payments. The 70 countries in the study make up almost 95 percent of global GDP. 

“Electronic payments are a major contributor to consumption, increased production, economic growth and employment creation,” noted Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics. “Those countries which saw large increases in card usage also saw larger contributions to overall growth in their economies.”

Findings from the study were shared in the report, “The Impact of Electronic Payments on Economic Growth,” which also indicated that the electronification of payments benefited governments and contributed to a more stable and open business environment. Additionally electronic payments helped to minimize what is commonly referred to as the grey economy -- economic activity that is often cash-based and goes unreported.  As a result, electronic payments provided a higher potential tax revenue base for governments, while also bringing the added benefits of lower cash handling costs, guaranteed payment to merchants and greater financial inclusion for consumers.

Highlights of the global study include:

  • Growth Opportunities:

    Card Penetration: Real consumption grew at an average of 2.3 percent from 2011 to 2015, of which 0.01 percent is attributable to increased card penetration. This implies that card usage accounted for about 0.4 percent of growth in consumption. Since consumption growth is, on average, faster in emerging economies, those countries also have more to gain by increasing card usage. 
    Card Usage: Countries with the largest increases in card usage experienced the biggest contributions in growth.  For example, big increases in GDP were recorded in Hungary (0.25%), the United Arab Emirates (0.23%), Chile (0.23%), Ireland (0.2%), Poland (0.19%) and Australia (0.19%). In most countries, card usage increased regardless of economic performance.

  • Contribution to Employment:

    Increased card usage added the equivalent to almost 2.6 million jobs on average, per year, across the 70 countries sampled between 2011 and 2015. Notably, the two countries with the greatest average job increases were China (427,000 jobs added) and India (336,000 jobs added), which both had large gains in employment due to the combination of fast growing labor productivity and increased card usage.

  • Emerging Markets and Developed Countries:

    Both emerging markets and developed countries experienced gains in consumption due to higher card usage. Increased card usage added 0.2 percent to consumption in emerging markets, compared with 0.14 percent in developed countries between 2011 and 2015. The corresponding figures for GDP were 0.11 percent for emerging economies and 0.08 percent for developed countries, and suggests that all markets, regardless of current card penetration rates, can benefit from increases in consumption due to increases in card usage.

  • Potential Future Growth:

    Across the 70 countries in the study, Moody’s found that every 1 percent increase in usage of electronic payments could produce, on average, an annual increase of approximately $104 billion in the consumption of goods and services. Assuming all future factors remain the same, this could result in an annual average increase of 0.04 percent to GDP attributable to card usage.

The study highlights that expanding electronic payments alone will not necessarily increase a country’s prosperity -- it requires the support of a well-developed financial system and healthy economy to have the greatest impact. The report recommends at a macro-level, to encourage the further electronification of payments, countries must promote policies that streamline regulation, create a robust financial infrastructure, and lead to greater consumption.

The study and additional materials can be found on



Visa is accepted by more than 36 million merchant and has 2.4 billion Visa cards globally (As of June 30, 2015)


About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit and @VisaNews.