The credit card market is growing, according to a new report from the CFPB. The biennial report to Congress found the total number of credit card accounts, the total credit available to cardholders, and the average amount of debt on credit cards have all increased over the past two years. During that same period, the delinquency rate (paying late or not at all) has “modestly increased.”
Goodbye Signatures? Credit Card Firms Make Big Change
American Express, Mastercard and Discover have each announced that, starting in April, they will no longer require signatures on any U.S. and Canadian credit card purchases. Actually, American Express is making the change for all its transactions worldwide.
Holiday Retail Sales Rise 5%
Holiday retail sales in 2017 increased 4.9% over the previous year, the largest year-over-year increase since 2011. The report found that consumer confidence, innovative retail strategies, robust online shopping activity and last-minute gift-buying produced the record-setting numbers. Electronics and appliance sales increased 7.5%, the strongest showing in 10 years. The home furniture and furnishings category grew 5.1%, as did home improvement.
Why The U.S. Is Still a Big Growth Market For Visa And Mastercard
Shares of Visa and Mastercard have soared since their IPOs, thanks to a general shift in payments from cash to cards, as well as a dominant position in the U.S. payments ecosystem. But while investors look to emerging markets as drivers of growth going forward, data from a Federal Reserve study show that these two payments businesses have massive growth potential even in their most developed markets. Here’s why Visa and Mastercard can continue to drive profit growth from U.S. consumer spending.