Mastercard's revenue jumped 24% year over year to $5.2 billion in the first quarter. Its operating leverage was once again on full display. With the digital payments giant's expenses rising only 13%, its operating income surged 34% to $3 billion. Better still, Mastercard's earnings per share, which were boosted by stock buybacks, soared 46% to $2.68.
This impressive growth was fueled by a 17% increase in gross dollar volume -- essentially, the total dollar amount of transactions processed on Mastercard's payments network. Growth was particularly strong in cross-border volume, which rose by 53% as demand for travel rebounded.
"As of March, cross-border travel is above 2019 levels for the first time since the pandemic began, and ahead of our expectations," CEO Michael Miebach said in a press release.
Mastercard's results came after Visa's, which were likewise met with applause from investors. Visa said on Tuesday that its revenue grew by 25% to $7.2 billion in its fiscal second quarter, which ended on March 31. Its adjusted net income and earnings per share increased by 27% and 30%, respectively, to $3.8 billion and $1.79.
"The global economic recovery that began in the middle of last year continued," CEO Alfred Kelly said in Visa's earnings release. "We had solid growth in most countries around the globe and across all elements of our business."
Although the economy is facing no shortage of challenges -- including war in Europe, COVID-19 flareups in Asia, and corresponding supply chain disruptions and inflation -- the world is continuing to move forward. The trend toward digital transactions and away from cash remains firmly underway. Perhaps no companies stand to profit from this shift more than Mastercard and Visa.