- 22 billion transactions processed in 2010, growing to 33 billion in 2013 and over 50 billion by 2015 (that will be nearly 1,600 transactions per second, every second of the year)
- The value of transactions processed was a total of $1.1 trillion in 2010 and expected to increase by 50% to $1.6 trillion in 2013 and edging on $2.5 trillion by 2015 (and that will be around $80,000 worth of transactions per second)
Naturally these numbers are driven by the juggernaut of the online retail market. Across the developed world online shopping is growing at around 20% annually, and this is the case in Australia, US and the UK. In developing countries the growth rate is substantially higher, like tenfold increase over three years in China as an example.
These conditions have seeded the birth and success, in some cases spectacular, of the payment system providers, which in turn made a lot of entrepreneurs and investors very happy indeed.
PayPal is the poster child of this industry, posting growth in the number of transactions processed of close to 200% a year, but there are many more. As it is to be expected in an industry in its infancy the M&A activity has been feverish with some impressive transactions on very generous valuations.
Possibly the largest such deal was the sale by the RBS of WorldPay to Bain Capital Partners for £2.03 billion. Other examples are the acquisition of Bill Me Later by eBay for $945 million, the acquisition of Revolution Card by Amex for $300 million and the acquisition of Ogone by Ingenico for €360 million. An Australian start up has shared the spoils: Envoy was acquired by WorldPay for $106 million just five years after launching with an initial investment of $1.1 million.