Each day in the USA, more than 52 million purchase transactions on credit and debit cards pass through the VISA and MasterCard networks. In the first three months of this year, Americans made nearly 4.7 billion purchase transactions, a 12% increase over the same period one year ago. More than $295 billion of goods and services were charged to VISA- and MasterCard-branded credit and debit cards in the first quarter of 2003, an 11.5% increase over 2002. Even though the number and dollar value of those purchases are up significantly, the average transaction has declined slightly. During the first three months of 2003, the average card purchase was $62.87, compared to $63.06 one year ago. (Credit card purchases average about $82 each, while debit card purchases run about $38 each.) The slight decline may reflect the overall sluggish economy, or it may indicate the growth of lower dollar value transactions, such as fast food purchases. For example, VISA recently reported that quick service restaurant volume grew by 65% last year, to $3.2 billion. Based on card activity so far this year, Americans are on track to charge more than $1.2 trillion in purchases to their VISA- and MasterCard-branded credit and debit cards this year.
1Q/03 PURCHASE TRANSACTIONS (includes VISA/MC credit and signature debit cards; excludes cash advances) 3 months: 4,696,995,000 Per Day: 52.2 million Per Hour: 2.17 million Per Min.: 36,242 Per Sec: 604 Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)