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Plastic’s fantastic in the shift to cashless society Add to ...

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Lex is a premium daily commentary service from the Financial Times. It helps readers make better investment decisions by highlighting key emerging risks and opportunities.

When stock pickers dream, they dream of charts like those of Visa or MasterCard. The payment processors’ shares have more than doubled since the start of 2011, in a beautiful steady climb. Sure, the shares were depressed back in 2010 – spending was weak in the aftermath of the financial crisis, and there was uncertainty about the part of Dodd-Frank regulation that capped swipe fees on debit transactions. Spending has returned and the regulations have proven to be manageable, but the driver of the gains has been the move towards a cashless society.

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  • Visa Inc
    $95.58
    +1.63
    (+1.73%)
  • MasterCard Inc
    $124.01
    +0.71
    (+0.58%)
  • Updated June 23 4:01 PM EDT. Delayed by at least 15 minutes.

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