Consumer Payment Card News

Card Facts 2019 in the U.S. Reveal Robust & Rocky Growth

Card facts 2019

Card facts 2019 thus far point to growing usage, slowing issuance and dogged by rising late payments. The number of payment transactions is up 7%, the number of cards issued is up 5%, and delinquency sits at a five-year high.

U.S. Bank Credit Cards in Use?

U.S. credit/charge cards-in-force for Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover currently stand at 694 million, compared to 650 million one-year ago, growing 5.2% year-on-year. Among the Major U.S. credit/charge card brands, Mastercard added 27 million over the past 12 months, while Visa added 3.0 million, American Express added 2.8 million and Discover added 1.6 million

U.S. Bank Credit Card Open Accounts?

Open credit card accounts in the U.S. for Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover are growing 6% annually and now total 553 million, compared to 522 million one-year ago. Mastercard led the peer group with a 12% year-on-year gain, followed by American Express, with a 5% annual increase.

U.S. Leader of the Payment Card Pack?

U.S. payment card marketshare, including credit, debit, charge and prepaid card products, among the four biggest networks, based on gross dollar volume, reveals Visa currently holds a 61.1% share, compared to Mastercard at 25.6%, American Express at 11.2%, and 2.1% for Discover. The major four networks produced $1754 billion in U.S. gross dollar volume in the first-quarter of 2019 for a 7.1% year-on-year gain.

Number of U.S. Transactions Processed?

U.S. payment card (credit, charge, debit, prepaid) gross transactions (payment + cash), processed through the two largest networks, totaled 25,064 million for the first-quarter, compared to 23,598 million for the year ago quarter. Visa and Mastercard credit and charge card gross transactions ended the first-quarter at 7970 million, compared 7461 million for 1Q/18. Visa and Mastercard debit and prepaid card gross transactions were 17,094 million for 1Q/19, compared 16,137 million for 1Q/18.

Number of U.S. Purchase Transactions?

U.S. payment card purchase transactions for Visa and Mastercard (debit+ credit) hit 23,856 million in the first-quarter, compared to 22,297 million for 1Q/18. U.S. purchase transactions for Visa and Mastercard credit cards grew by 6.9% year-on-year for 1Q/19 to 7,948 million. U.S. purchase transactions for Visa and Mastercard debit cards were up 7.1% year-on-year, to 15,908 million.

Number of Visa and Mastercard U.S. Credit and Debit Cards?

U.S. credit card cards-in-force for Visa and Mastercard is up 5.5% annually. Visa and Mastercard reported 576 million credit cards-in-force this year. U.S. debit card cards-in-force for both networks increased 7.7% to 801 million. There are currently 1377 million Visa and Mastercard payment cards in circulation in the U.S. compared to 1290 million one-year ago. Since 2015, Visa and Mastercard have added 233 million payment (credit + debit) cards-in-force in the U.S.

Biggest Players in U.S. Credit Card Market?

U.S. card loan growth among the six largest credit card issuers is increasing 3.5% annually, compared to a 8.0% one-year ago. Chase, Capital One, Bank of America, and Citibank, Discover, American Express reported $573 billion in 1Q/19 U.S. end-of-period credit card outstandings, compared to $554 billion for 1Q/18.

U.S. Credit Card Delinquency Rate?

The average U.S. 30+ day delinquency rate among the six largest issuers (Chase, Capital One, Bank of America, Citibank, Discover, American Express was 2.18% for 1Q/19, compared to 2.10% for 1Q/18. Over the past four years the average early stage U.S. credit card delinquency ratio for the first-quarter has increased 44 bps. The Big 6 30+ day delinquency rate climbed from 1.74% in 2015, to 1.76% in 2016, to 2.01% in 2017, and 2.10% for last year. It is the highest level in more than five years and the highest first quarter level since 4Q/12.

U.S. Credit Card Charge-Off Rate?

Credit card charge-offs among the nation’s Big 6 credit card issuers rose 14 basis points (bps) year-on-year for the first-quarter, and up 34 bps from the prior quarter. The Big 6 (Chase, Capital One, Bank of America, Citibank, American Express, Discover) reported an aggregate charge-off ratio of 3.65% for 1Q/19, compared to 3.31% for 4Q/18 and 3.51% for 1Q/18. The first-quarter charge-off ratio is the highest in at least the past five years, increasing 81 bps, compared to 1Q/15

U.S. Credit Card Profits?

Quarterly card profits among the nation’s Top 4 U.S. credit card issuers edged up 60 basis points year-on-year. Profits (after tax) among the nation’s four largest U.S. credit card issuers (Chase; Capital One; Bank of America; Citibank) increased 0.6% in the first-quarter (1Q/19), compared to a 58.9% YOY blowout for 1Q/18. Aggregate card after tax profits for the Top 4 issuers logged in at $2863 million for 1Q/19, compared to $2972 million for 4Q/18 and $2847 million for 1Q/18.

2019-2020 U.S. Card Outlook?

Card facts 2019 point to card product saturation but not maturation in the displacement of non-card payments. It is likely the current global and domestic economy with turn south later this year and into 2020 thus softening payments usage. The uptick in delinquency and charge-offs is a growing concern for card issuers and confirms U.S. credit card debt may have peaked, notes Robert McKinley, Senior Analyst for CardTrak, CardFlash, and CardData.