Consumers around the world used Visa cards to purchase $1 trillion in goods and services in the 12 months ended March 31, Visa International reported.

Visa said it was the first card company to reach the $1 trillion mark, which was 23.7% higher than Visa's previous 12-month total, $824 billion.

Edmund P. Jensen, Visa's president and chief executive, said adoption of debit cards fueled the growth. Transactions on Visa check cards-a debit product-increased 40% to $305 billion in the year ended March 31.

"What this tells us is that an increasing number of consumers worldwide are relying on bank cards as the best way to pay, because of their convenience and because of the control they provide in managing personal financial affairs," Mr. Jensen said.

By March 31, the total number of Visa cards-credit and debit-issued globally had reached 572 million, an increase of 12.8% from the year earlier.

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