Nilson Report

Issue 1057 | Feb 2015


Companies featured in this issue include:

Purchase Volume for U.S. General Purpose Brands

Investments & Acquisitions - January 2015

U.S. Credit Card Outstandings

Purchase Volume on U.S. General Purpose Cards 2014

U.S. General Purpose Cards 2014 vs. 2013

Change in Purchase Volume 2014 vs. 2013

Market Shares of Purchase Volume - Visa vs. MasterCard

U.S. General Purpose Credit Cards

U.S. Visa & MasterCard Debit & Prepaid Cards

U.S. Visa & MasterCard Credit, Debit, & Prepaid Cards

U.S. Credit Card Outstandings

Outstanding credit card receivables tied to general purpose cards issued in the United States reached $764.86 billion at year-end 2014, up 4.2% over 2013.

$347.12 billion
$258.23 billion
American Express
$103.35 billion
$56.16 billion

Full access to the U.S. Credit Card Outstandings results is available when you subscribe to The Nilson Report.

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Online B2B Escrow Payments

Business-to-business (B2B) marketplaces, directories, e-invoice companies, e-commerce platforms, industry associations, and other third-party platforms can offer secure payments between buyers and sellers through start-up Armor Payments, an Internet-only escrow company licensed in California. 

Armor Payments provides a cloud-based, online transaction platform it refers to as Escrow as a Service (EaaS). Customers integrate with Armor Payments through an application program interface (API). It assumes all regulatory compliance, moves money between buyers and sellers, and handles dispute management. 

Buyers send payments to Armor Payments, which notifies sellers that funds have been received into escrow. Once sellers ship goods and buyers confirm receipt, Armor Payments releases the funds to the sellers. Transactions occur through wire transfer or the ACH. Wire transfer confirmations occur in one to two hours. ACH confirmations can take one to two days. 

Armor Payments differs from PayPal, which offers marketplaces and similar businesses payment card acceptance services, and letters of credit, which buyers obtain from a bank. Armor Payments charges 0.5% to 1.5% of the transaction amount for its EaaS, compared to PayPal’s 2.9% per transaction, and letters of credit in the 1% range. 

PayPal caps transaction amounts at $10,000 for registered users, less for those without an account. Letters of credit, which are most often used for higher-value, cross-border transactions, have an average value in the $650,000 range. Armor Payments targets transaction amounts between $1,000 and $1,000,000. There is no specific limit.

Armor Payments, which has received seed funding from angel investors, will soon announce its first partnership with a payment service provider outside the U.S.

Scott Reynolds is President at Armor Payments in Los Gatos, California, (408) 858-9482,,

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