Visa profit beats as card payments accelerate

Wed Feb 6, 2013 6:57pm EST
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(Reuters) - Visa Inc's (V.N: Quote) quarterly profit beat analysts' estimates for the ninth consecutive quarter as credit, debit and transactions grew at the world's largest payments network.

Visa, along with its closest rival MasterCard Inc (MA.N: Quote), have been working to spread card and online payments in parts of the world dominated by cash transactions.

Visa's purchase volumes grew 9 percent to $1.1 trillion in the first quarter, the fastest rate of growth in nine months. Billable transactions on the company's Cybersource online payments network jumped 28 percent, the quickest pace in at least five quarters.

Visa has also been expanding in emerging markets. The company will provide payment services under a biometric identification program being implemented by the Indian government.

The Foster City, California-based company, which is boosting its electronic payment operations and rolling out its digital wallet service,, said it would continue to invest in new services.

"The work on mobile here continues, both organically and with the acquisition of Fundamo. It's a critical access point to our network and continued investment in that is absolutely critical for us," Chief Executive Charlie Scharf said on a post-earnings conference call.

Visa acquired South Africa-based Fundamo, a mobile payments company with a presence in emerging markets, for about $100 million in 2011.

Scharf, a former head of JPMorgan Chase & Co's (JPM.N: Quote) retail financial services division, took over as chief executive of Visa in November.

PROFIT BEATS   Continued...

A Visa sign is seen on a cashier's desk at a restaurant in Yangon in this January 31, 2013 file photograph. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun/Files