Visa Europe says over €318 million is likely to be spent by European cardholders of Visa cards in Europe, with two thirds taking place on Visa debit cards. The volume of transactions is also expected to increase thus by 13% compared with the same day of last year.

Around 4.5 million transactions will take place on November 30, with the busiest period for online sales predicted to be around lunchtime with another peak around 7pm. This will represent a year on year growth of 16%. Over the course of the day, approximately €220,000 will be spent on Visa cards every minute.

Last year, December 1 was the busiest day for online sales with over €280 million spent on Visa cards across Europe. The continued growth in online spend is further shown by the fact that spend on Visa cards has already surpassed 2008’s peak on November 2, 2009.

Visa bases its predictions on up to the minute spending data and previous years’ Christmas spending trends. Over €1 in every €9 spent in Europe is on a Visa card, making this data one of the most reliable indicators of trends in consumer spending, Visa said in a release.

“In the past year, we’ve seen a continued increase in online spend on Visa cards, despite the recession. In fact on November 2, 2009, we surpassed our busiest day for spend in 2008 in Europe. Consumers are becoming increasingly confident shopping online and appreciate the security and convenience of doing so with a Visa card,” said Steve Perry, Commercial Director at Visa Europe.

On the High Street, the last Friday or Saturday before Christmas is usually the busiest shopping day but with Christmas falling on a Friday this year, Visa Europe predicts the busiest day will actually be Wednesday, December 23. Visa expects to process over 27 million transactions across Europe worth around €1.4 billion on this day alone. This represents a 9% growth in spend on 2008. The busiest time is expected to be from 11am to 12pm on Thursday, December 24 when Visa will process up to 850 transactions per second, compared to 731 in 2008.