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Latest World Cards Intelligence research
Selected findings from recently updated markets.
Brazil
Nigeria
Tunisia
Indonesia
Ukraine
Lebanon
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Brazil

Visa and MasterCard have dominated the traditional bank and financial institution credit cards market for decades. However, as domestic scheme, Elo, gains momentum issuing new cards and migrating a portion of the sizeable private-label store cards market to its network, the Brazilian credit card landscape is likely to slowly change over the next five years. .

Cielo and Redecard, which used to process transactions exclusively on behalf of Visa and MasterCard, respectively, dominate the Brazilian merchant acquiring market. In 2008, Banco Central do Brasil made clear its desire to change this condition to increase competition, leverage economies of scale and allow the entrance of new market players. In 2009, Redecard started acquiring private-label cards and in June 2010, the exclusivity agreement of Cielo acquiring Visa transactions, ended.

The main non-bank processors in Brazil are Fidelity (previously Certegy), Orbitall, CSU CardSystem, and EDS. Itau Unibanco, Banco do Brasil, Caixa Economica Federal, Santander and Citibank do their card processing in-house. Local IT and consulting firm Stefanini wholly owns Orbitall; Fidelity, is 50 percent owned by Bradesco, while CSU CardSystem is owned by a number of international investment funds.

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Nigeria

The Nigerian government's economic aspirations have been focused on diversifying the economic base, reducing dependence on oil and changing consumption patterns. The aim is to reform the economy onto a path of sustainable, all-inclusive and non-inflationary growth.

The Nigerian government has formulated the Financial System Strategy 2020 in order to strengthen the financial services sector and to promote stability and diversity. The strategy is based on greater transparency of financial performance, increased capacity of industry participants in order to manage growth, improved financial infrastructure, advancement of consumer protection, and co-ordination of efforts by various bodies to promote access to financial services

Personal loans include a wide range of standard personal loans, as well as short- and long-term leasing finance. Personal loans represent the largest segment of consumer credit outstandings in Nigeria, accounting for 38 percent of total consumer credit outstandings in 2011.

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Tunisia

Tunisian banks and finance companies remain very conservative with respect to issuance of credit cards and their usage. Despite being a moderately wealthy country, the actual number of people eligible for credit cards or consumer finance - based on qualifying income levels - is limited.

University loans have grown from a very low base in 2003, as banks seek to offer study loans specifically to finance higher education fees. Typically, these loans are offered in conjunction with savings plan products for the customer's university education. However, such loans comprised less than one percent of total consumer debt outstanding in Tunisia at the end of 2009 and continued to contract during 2010.

The lack of issuance of revolving credit cards in Tunisia can be attributed to a number of factors, including the influence of the French banking culture which favours debit and deferred debit cards; the banking industry's preference for offering alternative loan products with revolving credit facilities, which don't require the necessary investment in cards infrastructure; and restrictions imposed on the movement of foreign currency within the country.

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Indonesia

Despite a slowdown in real GDP growth in 2009, the country was relatively resilient to the global financial crisis due to its high reliance on domestic consumption and lesser dependence on exports. To support the economy, the Indonesian government utilised monetary easing until August 2009. At the same time the central bank cut its reference rate.

Five banks - Bank Mandiri, Bank Rakyat, Bank Central Asia, Bank Negara Indonesia and CIMB Niaga dominate the country's retail banking space. They are leading financial institutions in terms of total assets, total loans and total deposits.

Visa is the market leader in the Indonesian credit cards market. MasterCard is a distant second while the remainder consists of Bank Central Asia's proprietary cards, American Express, Diners Club and JCB cards.

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Ukraine

Ukraine has a favourable combination of climatic conditions, land and labour resources, a relatively well-developed transport infrastructure and proximity of its foreign trading partners. The country's agricultural sector contributes 13 percent to GDP and it employs a fifth of the working population.

Payment cards are the main non-cash payment tool in Ukraine, while the use of direct bank transfers and e-money is relatively rare. Nevertheless, cash is a prevalent instrument of settling transactions and the main competitor of payment cards.

A wide range of co-branded cards are present in the market. Some of the successful programmes include Raiffeisen Bank Aval's co-brand with mobile operator MTS, whereby purchases at the point of sale generate loyalty points that can be redeemed for free SMS messages or air-time minutes.

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Lebanon

During 2011 GDP growth slowed markedly due to lower influx of tourists, a decline in exports, reduced foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and lower remittances from abroad. Furthermore, the government was forced to increase salaries in the public sector due to rising inflation, which further strained its fiscal position

The consumer credit market in Lebanon expanded during the past several years as a result of a growing economy and continued inflow of funds from overseas. This has boosted consumption levels and provided a significant number of consumers with deposits payments required for purchases of new properties and automobiles.

Personal loans have gained significant popularity over the last few years as the banks began offering such facilities in order to improve their return on assets. In addition to charging higher interest rates, personal loans also incur lower credit loss rates compared to other non- mortgage loans, resulting in a highly profitable consumer lending product.

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World Cards Intelligence is Lafferty Group's online resource for critical market and competitor intelligence on credit cards & consumer finance across over 65 markets worldwide
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