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[LONDON] More than 1.5 trillion euros (US$1.7 trillion) was spent on Visa cards in Europe last year, an annual increase of nine percent as more consumers switch from cash payments.
Payments on Visa debit and credit cards now account for one euro in every 6 euros spent, Visa Europe said.
Gross revenues in the year to the end of September were 1.9 billion euros, Visa Europe added, and its profits of 344 million euros were up 30 per cent on the year before.
European Union governments in December agreed to cap the fees retailers pay to process debit and credit card transactions after a long battle with Visa and MasterCard.
Visa said the industry had to move on from that dispute and retailers needed to pass on savings - estimated at 6 billion euros - to customers.
Visa Europe is based in Britain and is owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 37 countries. It is independent of Visa Inc but works in partnership with the US group to allow payments.
It said there were 37 billion transactions on its cards last year from 500 million cards in Europe, and including ATM transactions more than 2 trillion euros was accessed through its cards.
New technologies should help it continue to erode cash transactions, it said.
"We will further eat away at the 70 per cent of transactions that are still settled in cash in Europe. We will make use of the abundance of digital technology that now surrounds us to enable new digital payment solutions," said Nicolas Huss, chief executive of Visa Europe.