Citing a resurgence in international spending, Visa Inc.’s total debit and credit card sales volume for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30 rose 15%, to $828 billion from $720 billion during the same period last year, the company reported Oct. 27.

Visa is succeeding in the mission it announced earlier this year to eventually derive more than half of its revenue from outside the U.S., and in the coming year it plans to accelerate growth and investment in Brazil, Russia and the Middle East, Joseph Saunders, Visa chairman and CEO, told analysts during a conference call to discuss earnings.

“In fiscal 2011 we will invest upwards of 60% of Visa’s marketing expense on markets outside the United States, where we are focused on driving growth in the affluent segment and debit at the point of sale,” Saunders said.

Byron Pollitt, Visa chief financial officer, said cross-border payment volume rose 16% during the quarter “as the world economy continues to mend.”

Asked by analysts to forecast what the Federal Reserve Board may decide in crafting new debit-interchange rules under the Durbin Amendment within the Dodd-Frank Act, Saunders said it is too soon to say. But he confirmed “the conversation does exist” in which regulators may “tweak” aspects of the legislation or possibly extend the deadline for implementing certain rules.

The law calls for the Fed to issue final rules by April 22 that would go into effect by July 22.

Visa has provided data to regulators in connection with the legislation in several “open and constructive” meetings,” Saunders said. “As it relates to how they digest that data and what they do with it or what they feel they can do with it, that remains to be seen,” he said.

During the quarter, total credit card spending continued to exceed debit spending, but debit card use around the world continued growing at a faster pace.

U.S. credit card spending rose 6.2%, to $207 billion from $195 billion, with total credit transactions rising 4.3%, to 2.4 billion from 2.3 billion.

Outside the U.S., credit card spending rose 14%, to $294 billion from $258 billion, with total credit transactions increasing by 11.8%, to 3.8 billion from 3.4 billion.

U.S. debit card spending during the quarter rose 19.3%, to $266 billion from $223 billion, while total U.S. debit transactions rose 19.7%, to 7.3 billion from 6.1 billion.

Outside the U.S., debit card spending rose 35.6%, to $61 billion from $45 billion, while total debit transactions increased 18.2%, to 1.3 billion from 1.1 billion.

Visa credit and debit card spending volume showed the greatest gains in regions outside of North America.

In Visa’s Central European, Middle East and Africa regions, combined credit and debit card spending surged 28.6%, to $27 billion from $21 billion, while it grew by 25.5% in Latin America, to $69 billion from $55 billion, and by 15.3% in the Asia Pacific region, to $211 billion from $183 billion. Credit and debit payments increased 11.4% in Canada, to $49 billion from $44 billion.

Visa’s net income for the quarter was $774 million, up 50.6% from $514 million a year earlier (see story).

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