Chief Executive Officer at Mastercard
Thank you, Warren. Good morning, everyone. So let me start by giving you the highlights of the quarter. Strong revenue and earnings growth continued. The net revenue up 29% and EPS up 48% versus a year ago, as always, on a non-GAAP currency-neutral basis. On this same basis, quarter 3 net revenues are now 11% above pre-COVID levels in 2019.
We're seeing continued strength in domestic spending and overall cross-border volumes are now back at 2019 levels, though there still remains significant room for growth in cross-border travel. We're continuing to execute against our strategic priorities with good progress on the product and deal fronts this quarter. And we're excited about our acquisition of CipherTrace in the crypto services area and our planned acquisition of Aiia in open banking. So those are the highlights.
Looking at the broader economy, domestic spending levels continue to improve, even though economies are facing supply chain constraints, rising energy prices and some other inflationary pressures. According to our quarter 3 SpendingPulse report, which is based on all payment types, including cash and check, U.S. retail sales ex auto, ex gas were up 5% versus a year ago and 12% versus 2019, reflecting the return to in-person shopping and the ongoing e-commerce strength. SpendingPulse also indicated that the overall European retail sales in quarter 3 were up 5% and 6% versus 2019.
As it relates to COVID specifically, the outlook continues to get better with case numbers generally improving, new therapeutics in the pipeline, progress on vaccinations and businesses becoming more agile in the face of remaining restrictions. We're also seeing a general trend toward the opening of travel corridors, notably inbound into the U.S. and some easing of restrictions in Asia.
Now turning to our business. While the pandemic is not fully behind us, we're now in the growth phase in most markets domestically and in many markets in cross-border spending as well. We will, therefore, turn the page and move beyond the 4-phased framework that guided us through the last 19 months and focus on managing the business for the growth opportunities ahead of us.
Looking at Mastercard's spending trends. Switched volumes improved quarter-over-quarter. We saw particular strength in consumer and commercial credit. Debit spend remains elevated, although it has moderated in recent weeks in part due to waning stimulus benefits. In terms of how people are spending, card-present volumes continue to improve as people are getting out and shopping more while we are still seeing sustained strength in card-not-present spend. So regardless of whether people want to shop online or in-person, our solutions support that choice and position us well to participate in both trends.
Now let's take a look at cross-border. Overall, cross-border returned to 2019 levels in August, driven by improvements in consumer and commercial travel as well as the ongoing strength of cross-border card-not-present spending ex travel. Our cross-border travel improved from 48% of 2019 levels in the second quarter to 72% this quarter with substantial upside potential still remaining as and when borders open.
Against this backdrop, we're investing in the growth of our business, including the enhancing end of our leading technology capabilities, like expanding our network edge to connect directly with our customers through the cloud, providing faster and easier access to our products and services. And of course, we remain focused on our strategic priorities: number one, rolling out core products while driving the shift to digital; two, differentiating and diversifying with our services; and three, leveraging our multi-rail capabilities to offer choice across payment applications.
Now let's take them one-by-one and turn to how we're growing our core products and driving the shift through digital: through Mastercard Installments, by winning core deals and by continuing our momentum in the fintech space. First, let me tell you about our recently announced Mastercard Installments, our scalable, open loop, buy-now-pay-later solution. Mastercard Installments is differentiated in that it enables banks, lenders, fintechs and wallets to seamlessly bring buy-now-pay-later solutions to consumers and merchants at scale and in a secure, tokenized manner.
With little to no integration for merchants, our solution avoids the need for lenders to engage merchants one-by-one to roll this out, enables them to deliver more payment options to more consumers faster. Our solution brings choice at scale, delivered through the Mastercard network. Our consumers will be able to access buy-now-pay-later offers through their bank's mobile banking app at the point of checkout and soon directly through Click to Pay.
The embedded power of Finicity will help lenders with credit positioning and enable consumers to easily choose different repayment options. Mastercard Installments will power our core payments and enable us to provide additional value through services, such as data analytics, loyalty and fraud tools. We've seen strong interest from players on all sides of the ecosystem and look forward to growing our partnerships in this area.
As always, we remain focused on continuing to grow share. And we've won deals across the globe this quarter. In the U.K., we're partnering with Chase as the preferred debit partner of their new digital retail bank. In Canada, we've extended our exclusive co-brand with Costco Canada. And in Brazil, we signed a deal with Autopass to issue more than 10 million cards to mass transit users in the Sao Paulo area, and along with that, open, contactless acceptance across their subway trains and city buses.
We're also building our leading position with fintechs and mobile money providers. Here are a few recent examples. PayPal has extended its PayPal Business Debit card into our four markets in Europe. PayPal will also directly leverage Mastercard Send for domestic wallet cash-outs and P2P transactions in the U.S. We're partnering with Vodafone in Egypt across all of their mobile money use cases, including cash-outs, P2P and bill payments.
We expanded our strategic partnership with Yandex in Russia and we'll be their preferred international partner for all of their fintech initiatives. And Finterra, an innovative market leader that connects U.S. banks and fintechs to get cards and financial products into the market, will leverage our digital-first Finicity, Mastercard Send and cybersecurity assets.
Now shifting to services. Our services support and differentiate our core products and have played a critical role in enabling many of the wins I just mentioned. They, of course, also diversify our business. We had many wins in this area this quarter.
Starting with the cybersecurity space. Ethoca is helping multiple players, including AT&T and Mercado Libre, reduce charge-backs through collaboration, thereby creating purchase transparency. Banco de Bogota is using our artificial intelligence capabilities to improve consumer experiences, increase profitability and identify new opportunities. And in Europe, team is leveraging NuData's behavioral biometrics to help thousands of new banks authenticate online transactions.
Data analytics; the tourism agencies in Greece, Hungary and elsewhere are using services like tourism insights and managed services to gather greater visibility of trends and drive deeper insights to support their tourism campaigns. In the UAE, HSBC is leveraging our Test & Learn capabilities to innovate, experiment and roll out new products for better customer engagement. And we're having success in the loyalty space with our innovative digital solutions, driving wins with players like the global fitness chain, Barry's and First [Phonetic] and Saudi National Bank.
Now let's turn to the progress we've made in offering choice to consumers across payment applications with our multi-rail capabilities, including open banking, B2B and crypto. In open banking, we're happy about our planned acquisition of Aiia. Aiia is a leading European open banking player, whose platform expertise, strong API connectivity and payment capabilities complement our existing open banking assets. We will combine Aiia's European footprint with Finicity's connectivity in the U.S. and our expansion into other markets like Australia. This will allow us to extend each organization's best-in-class capabilities, such as credit decisioning, credit scoring, account information services and payment applications across markets.
Talking about markets. We continue to make progress with our open banking product in Europe with players like Entercard, one of Scandinavia's leading credit card companies. And in the U.S., Finicity is working with UGO to enable account opening verifications, along with future plans to expand into payments. In B2B, we continue to expand the Track Business Payment Service network with key partners like JPMorgan Chase as well as merchant acquirers such as Moneris, the largest acquirer and leading processor of B2B transactions in Canada, and Priority Commercial Payments, a leading payments technology company in commercial payment solutions in the U.S.
We're also adding new functionality to Track DBS and are partnering with Demica to launch a supply chain finance capability. This functionality empowers payment agents to provide their business customers with access to affordable working capital directly through the Mastercard Track DBS platform. And in the U.K., HSBC will be the first to issue a Mastercard Track Card to Account Transfer product, an innovative B2B payment solution that allows businesses to use their commercial card program to make payments to any supplier, even if that supplier does not accept card payments. Again, a true multi-rail offering.
And finally, in the crypto space, we're making it easier for crypto players to connect to our network. We signed up a number of new crypto wallet providers and exchanges this quarter, including Bit2Me [indecipherable], Kanga by ZEN.COM, Coinmotion and CoinJar. Our crypto program, which is based on principles of engagement, allows consumers to easily buy crypto assets with their Mastercard, spend their crypto balances wherever Mastercard is accepted, cash out their proceeds with Mastercard Send and earn rewards in the form of crypto or even NFT. We're also seeing a growing services opportunity in this space. Earlier this month, we acquired CipherTrace, a security and fraud monitoring company with expertise, technologies and insights into more than 900 cryptocurrencies. Our recently announced agreement with Bakkt will also add to our expanding crypto services portfolio.
So let me sum this up one more time. We delivered strong revenue, earnings growth this quarter. We are seeing continued strength in domestic spending in most markets. And while overall cross-border volumes are back at 2019 levels, there remains significant room for growth in cross-border travel. We're executing against our strategic priorities with good progress on the product and deal front, as you heard, we're doing all of that while carefully managing our expenses.
That's it for me. Sachin, over to you.