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Online shopping booms – new data

27 April 2005

For Immediate Release

Online shopping booms – new data

Auckland, April 27: New figures show New Zealanders are the third biggest online shoppers in the Asia Pacific region, and that online spending is growing rapidly. New Zealanders spent almost 80 percent more buying products and services over the Internet on Visa cards than a year ago, according to the figures released today by Visa International.

Kiwis spent NZ$56.51 million in ecommerce sales using Visa cards in March 2005, up from NZ$31.51 million in March 2004. This puts New Zealand in third place of the region’s biggest online spenders by total sales volume, behind the Japan and Australia and ahead of Hong Kong and Singapore.

Visa data provides a reliable indicator of consumer spending trends as cards are the preferred method of payment online, with more than 50 per cent of total online payments done using Visa credit or debit cards.

“The data is quite astonishing given New Zealand’s relatively small population and reputation for being early adopters of technology. This confirms that we are among the leaders in embracing the Internet as a global retail channel,” said Mr Bruce Mansfield, General Manager, Australia and New Zealand, Visa International.

“The popularity of online shopping continues to grow as more retailers offer online sales, and consumers are attracted by the convenience and the ability to access specialized products not available in the local market. Cross border sales account for about one in six of all Visa ecommerce transactions,” Mr Mansfield said.

The average ecommerce transaction value in New Zealand was NZ$159, up from NZ$141 the year before and ahead of the average transaction in the region, NZ$123.

“Consumer confidence in using the Internet has also increased due to advances in online security and cardholder authentication measures which have significantly cut the risk of fraud.”

The number of ecommerce transactions in New Zealand rose by 58 percent to 354,932 in the month of March 2005 compared with the same month a year ago, when 223,951 transactions were made. This growth significantly outpace global ecommerce sales, which totaled NZ$19.2 billion in March, an increase of 15 percent over February and up 42 per cent compared with a year ago. Transactions rose by 14 per cent worldwide to 145.5 million for March.

“Online sales now represent 6.6 percent of all Visa transaction volume, up from 5.4 percent a year ago, and we expect this uptrend to continue,” Mr Mansfield said.

Top 5 countries in Asia Pacific for ecommerce sales March 2005

No. Of Transactions Transaction Amount % change from March ‘04
Australia 4,349,800 NZ$660m 38%
Japan 4,677,867 NZ$402m 39%
New Zealand 354,932 NZ$56m 79%
Hong Kong 239,705 NZ$37m 20%
Singapore 205,307 NZ$27m 80%

*Source: Visa International. Exchange rate US$1 = NZ$1.37 on 27 April 2005

Visa International

Visa is the world's leading payment brand generating more than US$3 trillion in annual card sales volume. Visa has unsurpassed acceptance in more than 150 countries. The Visa organization plays a pivotal role in developing innovative payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa is a leader in Internet based payments and is pioneering the creation of u-commerce, or universal commerce--the ability to conduct commerce anywhere, anytime, and any way. For more information, visit

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