Nilson Report

Issue 1177 | Jun 2020


Companies featured in this issue include:

Europe’s Global General Purpose Cards—Market Shares in 2019

Europe General Purpose Cards 2019 vs. 2018

Market Shares of Purchase Transactions in Europe 2001-2019

Purchase Volume on U.S. General Purpose Cards

Purchase Volume at Merchants 2019—General Purpose Credit, Debit, and Prepaid Cards Issued in the U.S.

Consumer ACH Transactions in the U.S.—2019

Investments & Acquisitions—May 2020

Purchase Volume at Merchants in the U.S.—2019

The 100 largest payment card issuers in the U.S. are ranked on pages 8 and 9 by combined credit, debit, and prepaid card purchase volume generated in 2019. The 5 largest are listed here.

1. JPMorgan Chase
$1,155.93 billion, +8.6%
2. American Express
$801.88 billion, +6.2%
3. Bank of America
$726.63 billion, +4.3%
4. Wells Fargo
$504.16 billion, +4.7%
5. Citibank
$470.80 billion, +8.0%

Full access to the Purchase Volume at Merchants 2019 results for general purpose, credit, debit, and prepaid cards issued in the United States is available when you subscribe to the Nilson Report.



U.S. Card Spending at Merchants

Please note: Only subscribers can access the charts included with this article.

General purpose consumer and commercial credit, debit, and prepaid cards issued in the United States generated $7.316 trillion in purchase volume at merchants in 2019, up 8.4% from 2018. That number includes Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express brands combined with general purpose debit cards (Star, Pulse, Nyce, Interlink, Accel, and others) from EFT networks.

Credit cards accounted for $3.966 trillion, up 7.8% over 2018.

Debit and prepaid cards accounted for $3.350 trillion, up 9.0%.

Cards that are co-branded with Mastercard, Visa, American Express, or Discover brands are included here. Private label credit cards such as store cards, gasoline cards, medical cards, etc. are not. Private label debit cards settled through the automated clearing house (ACH) and private label (closed loop) prepaid cards also are excluded. 

Credit card purchase volume market share was 54.20%, down from 54.48% in 2018. 

Debit and prepaid card market share was 45.80%, up from 45.52% the prior year.

The top 10 issuers based on combined purchase volume remained in the same positions in 2019 compared to 2018. 

Combined purchase volume for that group totaled $4.672 trillion, an increase of 6.7%. Their market share declined 99 basis points to 63.86%, down from 64.85%.

JPMorgan Chase consumer, small business, and commercial credit, debit (including EFT network), and prepaid card purchase volume was a combined $1.156 trillion in 2019. It continued as the largest U.S. issuer, and was the only issuer to exceed $1.000 trillion. The bank has held the top spot for a decade. Its market share grew by 4 basis points to 15.80%. 

Capital One, the 6th largest issuer, had a share increase of 5 basis points to 5.52%.

The other 8 issuers in the top 10 had market share declines or remained the same. American Express fell 22 basis points, even as it remained the 2nd largest issuer overall with a 10.96% share of the market. Bank of America, the 3rd largest, fell 39 basis points to 9.93%. Wells Fargo, the 4th largest, fell 24 basis points to 6.89%. Citibank, the 5th largest issuer, had a share decline of 2 basis points to 6.44%. U.S. Bank, the 7th largest, fell 11 basis points to 3.09%. Discover, the 8th largest, was down 6 basis points to 2.00%. PNC Bank, the 9th largest, was unchanged at 1.67%. USAA, the 10th largest, had a market share decline of 3 basis points.

As a group, issuers ranked 11th through 20th generated $678.00 billion in purchase volume, up 17.1% versus those ranked 11th through 20th in 2018. The group’s market share increased 69 basis points to 9.27%. Truist ranked 11th from the merger of BB&T (17th in 2018) and SunTrust (19th in 2018). The Bancorp Bank had the largest increase in purchase volume at 29.5%, followed by Fifth Third Bank at 19.4%, which acquired MB Financial in 2019. Navy Federal Credit Union purchase volume was up 16.2%, and Comdata, which moved up from 22nd largest, had a purchase volume increase of 11.5%.

For the group ranked 21st through 30th largest, the issuers generated $281.76 billion in card purchase volume, down 1.9% versus those ranked 21st through 30th largest in 2018, a 40 basis point decrease. The only issuers with double-digit increases in purchase volume in this group were Wex, up 10.6%, and Huntington National, up 10.3%.

For those ranked 31st through 100th, 26 had double-digit increases in card purchase volume, led by Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (up 30.9%), TCF Financial (up 29.4%), Synovus (up 24.3%), City National Bank (up 19.9%), Simmons Bank (up 19.3%), SchoolsFirst FCU (up 17.5%), Redstone FCU (up 15.9%), and Alliance Data (up 15.3%).

The top five issuers ranked by credit card purchase volume were JPMorgan Chase, which overtook American Express for the top spot. They were followed by Citibank, Bank of America, and Capital One.

Ranked by signature debit card purchase volume, the top five issuers were Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, and Truist.

The top five issuers ranked by PIN debit card purchase volume were Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, ICBA Bancard, and Truist.

Ranked by prepaid card purchase volume, the top five issuers were The Bancorp Bank, MetaBank, Green Dot Bank, Comerica Bank, and JPMorgan Chase.

© Copyright 2020 Nilson Report

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