Payment Card News

Xmas Spend

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Americans will likely use general purpose credit/debit cards and store credit cards to charge nearly $135 billion in retail sales this holiday season. While overall spending via all payment means will rise between 5.0% and 7.5%, the figure for payments cards will increase about 12.3% above last year. Signature debit card use is expected to soar by more than 25% while store credit cards will generate fewer sales this year, about 5% less. Credit card volume is running about 11% above last year. Consumers will likely rack up more than $85 billion in holiday sales on VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards. The National Retail Federation says total holiday retail sales are expected to increase 5.0% this year to $457.4 billion. VISA USA estimates overall retail sales (excluding auto sales) for the 2006 holiday season will grow 7.5%.

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|_5. Holiday Card Volume |
|_5. (five weeks ending 12/25) |
|_. | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | Gain |
|_. Credit: | $ 73.6 b | $ 77.1 b | $ 85.6 b | +11.0% |
|_. Debit: | $ 24.2 b | $ 28.2 b | $ 35.3 b | +25.2% |
|_. Store: | $ 16.0 b | $ 14.7 b | $ 13.9 b | -5.4% |
|_. TOTAL | $113.8 b | $120.0 b | $134.8 b | +12.3% |
|_5. Source: CardData (www.carddata.com) |

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