First-quarter U.S. credit card volume, among Visa [V], Mastercard [MA], American Express [AXP], and Discover [DFS], dipped a bit to a 7.0% year-on-year (YOY) gain. The Major 4 payment networks posted a 9.8% YOY increase in the first-quarter 2018 (1Q/18), a 9.4% YOY gain in 1Q/17 and an 8.6% jump in 1Q/16.
According to figures gathered by CardData, the Major 4 reported $932 billion in gross dollar volume (GDV) for 1Q/19, compared to $1007 billion for the prior quarter, and $871 billion for 1Q/18.
RAM Research analysis notes the fourth-quarter was the first time the Major 4 crossed the $1 trillion quarterly level for U.S. GDV. First quarter GDV (purchases + cash advances) is now growing at an annual compound growth rate (CAGR) of 8.76% since 2014.
Mastercard posted the strongest growth in first-quarter U.S. credit card volume.
The first-quarter YOY growth rate slowed by 280 basis points (bps), reflecting the aberrant first three months of 2019 wherein the impact of widespread bad weather, a lingering government shutdown and Wall Street recessionary concerns (based on an inverted yield curve), plus depressed consumer and business spending kicked-in.
Major 4 First-Quarter Q1 GDV
Visa reported a 6.1% YOY gain with first-quarter U.S. credit card GDV of $488 billion, compared to a revised $533 billion for 4Q/18 and $460 billion for 1Q/18. Visa U.S. credit card GDV grew 10.0% YOY for 1Q/18.
Mastercard posted a 9.3% YOY gain with first-quarter U.S. credit card GDV of $212 billion, compared to $228 billion for 4Q/18 and $194 billion for 1Q/18. Mastercard U.S. credit card GDV grew 9.0% YOY for 1Q/18.
American Express posted a 7.1% YOY boost for the first-quarter. U.S. credit/charge card GDV was $196 billion, compared to $205 billion for 4Q/18 and $183 billion for 1Q/18. American Express U.S. credit card GDV grew 10.9% YOY for 1Q/18.
Discover reported a 5.9% YOY gain with first-quarter U.S. credit card GDV of $36 billion, compared to $41 billion for 4Q/18 and $34 billion for 1Q/18. Discover credit card GDV grew 6.3% YOY for 1Q/18.
Consumers’ short-term outlook also improved in April. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will be better six months from now increased from 17.2% to 19.9%. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 16.8% to 17.2%, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased from 14.3% to 13.2%., according to CardTrak.
U.S. Major 4 U.S. Credit Card GDV
(Visa + Mastercard + American Express + Discover)
1Q/15: $666 billion
1Q/16: $725 billion
1Q/17: $793 billion
1Q/18: $871 billion
1Q/19: $932 billion
Visa U.S. Credit Card GDV
1Q/15: $316 billion
1Q/16: $349 billion
1Q/17: $418 billion
1Q/18: $460 billion
1Q/19: $488 billion
Mastercard U.S. Credit Card GDV
1Q/15: $152 billion
1Q/16: $169 billion
1Q/17: $178 billion
1Q/18: $194 billion
1Q/19: $212 billion
American Express U.S. Credit/Charge Card GDV
1Q/15: $169 billion
1Q/16: $176 billion
1Q/17: $165 billion
1Q/18: $183 billion
1Q/19: $196 billion
Discover U.S. Credit Card GDV
1Q/15: $29 billion
1Q/16: $30 billion
1Q/17: $32 billion
1Q/18: $34 billion
1Q/19: $36 billion