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Visa profit grows as digital payments become more commonplace

NEW YORK (AP) – Payments processing giant Visa Inc posted an 18 per cent rise in its fiscal fourth-quarter profits on Tuesday, as the company continues to benefit from the growing use of credit and debit cards globally.

The San Francisco-based company said it earned USD4.82 billion in the quarter, or USD2.33 a share after one-time adjustments. That’s compared to a profit of USD4.09 billion, or USD1.93 a share, in the same period a year ago. Visa beat analysts’ forecasts, according to FactSet.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Visa has benefitted from a change in consumer behaviour that has led to the broad acceptance of digital payments in places where traditionally cash was king, as well as from the growth in online shopping. The acceptance of digital payments goes straight to the bottom line of Visa and its competitor Mastercard, which take a fee from every transaction that is run on their networks.

Visa reported a nine per cent rise in payments volume on its network and a 10 per cent rise in the number of transactions on its network. Consumers spent USD3.196 trillion on Visa’s network globally last quarter, with the company posting a healthy six per cent growth in spending in the United States (US), the company’s largest market. For the full year, Visa saw USD12.338 trillion spent on its network compared to 2022 – twice the entire US government’s annual budget.

Visa’s stock rose about one per cent in after-hours trading.