MasterCard Inc., the world's second-biggest electronic payments network, said Tuesday that total spending dropped 8% in July and August as consumers cut back on credit card purchases.

"The economic slowdown around the world continues to be proving challenging for consumers, our bank customers and the merchants, and us," Martina Hund-Mejean, MasterCard's chief financial officer, told investors at the Barclays Global Financial Services Conference in New York.

MasterCard's U.S. credit-card processing volume, a measure of total spending, fell in the "low teens range" at the Purchase, N.Y., network as debit volume rose in the "mid-to-high single digits," Hund-Mejean said.

Processed transactions grew in the "high single digits," the executive said.

Visa Inc., the world's biggest card network, said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday that payments in the United States fell 2% in July and 1% in August on an annualized basis.

Transactions rose 8% in July and 9% in August, the San Francisco company said.

Joseph Saunders, Visa's chairman and chief executive officer, is scheduled to speak at the Barclays conference today.

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