(Adds details on forecast)
July 20 (Reuters) - Visa Inc, the world's largest payments network operator, on Thursday reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year earnings forecast, as more people made payments using its network.
Visa, which generates revenue by facilitating credit- and debit-card transactions, has benefited from a strengthening U.S. economy as well as results from Visa Europe, which it bought last June.
Consumer spending has been on the rise in the United States, supported by a tightening labor market and rising wages.
Visa's payment volumes in the country rose 12.1 percent on a constant dollar basis to $840 billion in the third quarter ended June 30. More than half of the company's total volume of transactions comes from the United States.
Visa Europe raked in $371 billion in payment volumes.
Total payments volume rose 38.4 percent to $1.860 trillion on a constant dollar basis.
Visa also raised its forecast for full-year profit.
The company said it now expects annual adjusted earnings per share to grow about 20 percent. It earlier expected earnings per share to grow in the mid-teen percentage digits.
Net income rose to $2.06 billion, or 86 cents per Class A share in the third quarter, from $412 million, or 17 cents per Class A share.
Analysts on an average had expected earnings of 81 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Visa's results in the prior-year quarter included expenses of nearly $1.9 billion related to its acquisition of Visa Europe.
Total operating revenue rose 26 percent to $4.57 billion in the third quarter, edging past analysts' estimates of $4.36 billion.
Shares of San Francisco-based Visa were up 0.8 percent at $98.89 in trading after the bell. (Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)