Consumer Payment Card News

Card Profits Slow

After peaking in 1996, credit card profits continue to slip downward. According to CardData ( net pre-tax profits dipped again last year by $100 million. While card industry profits more than doubled in the 90s they have declined over the past three years due to maximum competition, relatively high losses, and increasing convenience usage. The changing economic fundamentals produced a record number of acquisitions since 1996. Recently the nation’s second largest issuer, Bank One, advised Wall Street that its earnings for this year will not meet expectations due to lackluster results from its credit card unit, First USA.

        CARD  PROFITS (Net Pre-Tax)
1998   $11.4 billion      1993  $ 7.1 billion
1997   $11.5 billion      1992  $ 6.3 billion
1996   $13.6 billion      1991  $ 6.4 billion
1995   $12.9 billion      1990  $ 6.4 billion
1994   $11.1 billion      1989  $ 6.0 billion
Source CardWeb's CardData (

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