PROFILE: Jonathan Nixon - Head of Sales & Marketing, Visa
As the newspapers regularly like to remind us, we are up to our eyeballs in debt. Current figures put consumer credit at £1 trillion, a figure that has sparked a national outcry and considerable column inches. It has also led to the vilification of the credit card: once our flexible friend, and now increasingly seen as a plastic peril. As a result, efforts are being made to encourage consumers to cut down on their plastic or literally cut it up in a bid to reduce the availability of cheap credit for unsustainable spending splurges.
But that's in the consumer world. In the business world, the attitude to credit cards is very different, with companies increasingly recognising the advantages of plastic for expenses in terms of convenience for the spender and trackability for the organisation. As a consequence, the number of cards in circulation is rising as the banks convince their customers (companies of all sizes and in all sectors) of these benefits.
And of course, it's not just the banks which are responsible for this: the credit card brands themselves have much to gain from this expanding market, and are obviously seeking to drive or facilitate this growth wherever possible. The man responsible for such efforts at Visa the largest global credit card company is Jonathan Nixon, head of sales and marketing, Visa Commercial Solutions Europe.