Driven by MasterCard, payment card profits for the top four networks rose a mere 2.9% in the first quarter, compared to one-year ago. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover reported a combined 1Q/15 profit of $4090 million, compared to $3975 million for 1Q/14.
American consumers are back in the buying mode after ratcheting up revolving credit by $4.3 billion or 5.9% year-on-year (YOY) in March. Total revolving credit for March preliminarily posted $889.4 billion, compared to a revised $885.1 billion for the prior month and $887.5 billion for January.
U.S. cards-in-force (CIF) for Visa and MasterCard credit cards increased 8.9% year-on-year (YOY) while CIF for debit cards rose 9.1% YOY, in the first quarter, according to CardData. Driven by prepaid cards, U.S. Visa and MasterCard debit cards could cross the 700 million milestone in 2016.
Gross or open accounts (GAC) for U.S. credit cards among the nation’s four largest issuers climbed 5.2% in the first quarter to 189.9 million, compared to 180.4 million one-year ago. While Chase and Citi posted slight downticks in Q1, BofA and Capital One are looking up.
A new survey shows alternative lending products on the rise however, only 15.4% of small business owners are considering credit cards as a funding option for the upcoming year, which is significantly lower than the 26.6% of respondents who used credit cards in the last two years to cover expenses over other means.