Here is another evidence that e-shopping is hot and happening. Online spending by Visa cardholders at e-commerce merchants outside their home countries for the three months ending September clocked $377 million, representing 71 per cent growth over the same period in 2004, Visa Asia Pacific declared on Monday.
The number of international online Visa card transactions also increased exponentially from 1.9 million in the third quarter of 2004 to more than 3.6 million for the same period in 2005, a 94 per cent year-on-year gain.
Visa cardholders from the US, UK, Japan, New Zealand and Australia were the top international online spenders. These markets contributed 58 per cent to the total Visa card international online spending in Asia Pacific, approximately at $220 million. Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Philippines all saw growth of over 100 per cent, compared to the same quarter in 2004.
When shopping at online merchants outside their home countries, Visa cardholders spent most on transport, about $109 million, which saw a 79 per cent increase. This was followed closely by retail and trade, at about $103 million, a 90 per cent increase; professional and commercial services at about $63 million, an increase of 18 per cent; education, at about $26 million, up 50 per cent; and sports and leisure, at about $24 million, an increase of 83 per cent.
“The rise in online shopping throughout Asia Pacific is part of a wider global trend that has seen online sales increase dramatically over the past few years. These figures demonstrate that the online environment makes it extremely easy for consumers to purchase goods and services while travelling or to shop overseas without leaving their homes,” said Philip Yen, Visa Asia Pacific’s Executive Vice-President and General Manager, Product Group.
“Consumers and merchants are both contributing to this growth. For consumers, the convenience and security that online shopping provides combined with their increasingly pressing need to manage time efficiently are the driving factors. For merchants, their recognition of the ease and speed that the online channel brings to their businesses contributes strongly to the rise in the number of online shops. Visa expects to see these figures continue to grow well into 2006 and beyond,” added Yen.
With Internet shopping increasing in popularity, it is more important than ever for consumers to protect themselves against online card fraud. As part of an initiative to combat fraud, Visa is urging online shoppers to protect themselves by signing up for ‘Verified by Visa.’
‘Verified by Visa’ is an easy-to-use password protected service that verifies a cardholder’s identity during an online transaction. It helps to provide consumers and retailers with the same level of confidence as enjoyed in a face-to-face transaction. A free service to the cardholder, ‘Verified by Visa’ provides proof that a genuine cardholder and a genuine Visa retailer are taking part in the transaction.