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Visa CEO upbeat about Indian market; Visa Europe CEO search underway

Visa Inc. CEO Alfred Kelly Jr. is upbeat about growth opportunities for new entrants in India and hopes China will open up to them as well.

"India is a very interesting market to watch. It's much more open [than China]," Kelly said at the 2017 Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference on June 1.

The Indian government is trying to drive the country toward cashless commerce, and the market appears to be a level playing field competitively, he said. There has been a 50% rise in merchant locations in India since the demonetization drive that started in November 2016, and Visa is seeing a 100% increase in volume year over year there, Kelly said.

But the volume and number of merchant locations are small compared to the vast population in India, which means there is enormous growth opportunity for not just Visa but also other players in that market, Kelly said. Visa is investing significantly in India in terms of people and technology, he added.

The company is also looking for a new CEO for Visa Europe, Kelly said. Bill Sheedy, formerly the CEO of Visa Europe, is now the acting CEO of the business. Four candidates have been shortlisted for the role, Kelly said.