PSCU: Debit Card Spend Growth Above Historic Levels

Debit Card Spend Growth Above Historic Levels

Credit union service organization (CUSO) PSCU compared the 19th week of 2020, which concluded on May 10, to the same timeframe in 2019 to discover the impact of the pandemic on consumer spending and shopping trends.

“Our data continues to show signs of consumer awakening, with the growth rate for debit spend above historic levels and credit card spend continuing to show week-over-week improvements,” said Glynn Frechette, senior vice president, Advisors Plus at PSCU. “In areas that are starting the reopening process, we are seeing stronger growth, particularly for debit. It is also encouraging that the growth observed spans most spend categories.”

The weekly report showed that overall credit card spending was down 17 percent, while overall debit card spend was higher by 12.3 percent year over year. The average debit card purchase amount rose 19.9 percent year over year, and the volume of overall debit transactions grew for the sixth consecutive week.

Spending behaviors have also changed, with credit card-not-present (CNP) transactions comprising 51.3 percent of overall credit transactions and credit CNP purchases comprising 59.8 percent of total spend, which was significantly higher than 32 percent and 45 percent respectively year over year.

The CUSO also reported heightened spending on consumer goods, with a 6 percent rise in credit card spend and a 34.3 percent jump in debit card spend for the week ending May 10. The increases in the consumer goods space come from retail stores, bookstores (Amazon) and wholesale distributors.

The eight states without stay-at-home mandates experienced a 12.6 percent drop in credit card spend, which improved at a greater rate than the overall country, and an increase in debit card spend of 11.2 percent, which was similar to the overall country.

Supermarkets and grocery stores keep exhibiting “good year-over-year spending behaviors,” per PSCU. The week concluding May 10 ended with a higher rate of 21 percent for credit and 27.2 percent for debit compared to the same week the prior year.

Automated teller machine (ATM) deposits were higher by 11.1 percent compared to last year; however, overall ATM transactions completed week 19 with a decrease of 19.2 percent.

PSCU plans to hold its Virtual Member Forum 2020 next month, bringing its annual event to a digital environment amid widespread lockdowns.