Nilson Report

Issue 1185 | Oct 2020

FEATURED COMPANIES

Companies featured in this issue include:

Payment Cards in the U.S. Projected Purchase Volume in 2024

U.S. Payment Cards—Purchase Volume

U.S. Payment Cards—Purchase Transactions

U.S. Payment Cards—Purchase Volume 2019 vs. 2024

U.S. Payment Cards—Total Volume

U.S. Payment Cards—Total Transactions

U.S. Payment Cards—Outstandings

U.S. Payment Cards—Cardholders

U.S. Payment Cards—Cards

U.S. Payment Cards—Purchase Transactions

Consumer and commercial general purpose and private label credit, debit, and prepaid cards are featured in this issue. Purchase transactions are listed for all brands and products. The totals are shown here.

Credit Card Totals
52.23 Billion projected in 2024
Debit Card Totals
116.93 Billion projected in 2024
Credit and Debit Totals
169.16 Billion projected in 2024

Full access to the Payment Cards—Purchase Transactions results in the United States is available when you subscribe to the Nilson Report.

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POSTED OCT 31, 2020 | PRINT

Payment Cards in the U.S. Projected

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

Consumer and commercial credit, debit, and prepaid general purpose and private label cards combined generated $7.897 trillion in purchase volume for goods and services in 2019, up 8.1% from 2018. Purchase volume on credit cards ($4.234 trillion) accounted for 53.62% of that total, a decline from 53.87% the year before. Debit card purchase volume, which includes prepaid, was $3.663 trillion, an increase of 8.7%. Credit and debit card purchase volume combined is projected to reach $10.718 trillion in 2024, with 54.25% generated by debit cards and 45.75% generated by credit cards.

Visa credit cards held the largest market share of combined credit and debit card purchase volume in 2019 at 26.45%. Second highest market share position was held by Visa debit cards at 24.59%, followed by Mastercard credit cards at 11.51%, American Express credit cards with 10.39%, and Mastercard debit cards with 10.01%. All other cards combined—domestic debit (formerly referred to as EFT system cards); private label prepaid; store credit; Discover; oil company credit; medical credit; airline, car rental, hotel, and restaurant credit; and ACH debit—accounted for 17.05%. 

By 2024, Visa debit cards are projected to hold a 29.56% market share of purchase volume, followed by Visa credit cards at 22.91%, Mastercard debit cards at 12.42%, Mastercard credit cards at 10.34%, American Express credit cards at 8.55%, and all other cards combined at 16.23%. 

Purchase transactions initiated by consumer and commercial general purpose and private label credit, debit, and prepaid cards issued in the U.S. totaled 138.62 billion in 2019, up 7.4% over 2018. 

Debit card purchase transactions held a 66.04% market share and credit cards held the remaining 33.96%. By 2024, purchase transactions are projected to total 169.16 billion, with debit cards accounting for 69.13% and credit cards accounting for 30.87%. 

Visa debit cards held a 34.55% market share of combined credit and debit card purchase transactions last year. By 2024, they are projected to hold a 36.02% share.

Credit cards with the Visa brand held an 18.42% share of purchase transactions last year. By 2024, that share will slip to 16.82%.

Debit cards with the Mastercard brand held a 14.28% share of purchase transactions in 2019 and are projected to grow to a 15.48% share in 2024. Credit cards with the Mastercard brand held a 7.42% share in 2019. That share is projected to be 6.83% in 2024. 

Debit card purchase transactions settled through the domestic debit networks (Star, Pulse, Nyce, etc.), the vast majority of which were PIN-based, held a 11.58% share in 2019. By 2024, domestic debit networks are projected to hold a 12.11% share. Interlink (Visa) and Mastercard signature and PIN-based transactions are counted with Visa and Mastercard debit figures. 

At year-end 2019 there were 7.16 billion credit, debit, and prepaid cards issued in the United States, an increase of 3.1% over 2018. By 2024, payment cards in circulation are projected to reach 8.26 billion.

Credit Cards Projected

At year-end 2019, there were 1.10 billion general purpose and private label consumer and commercial credit cards issued in the U.S., a decline of 0.6% versus year-end 2018. By 2024, credit cards issued in the U.S. are expected to total 1.19 billion.

Purchase volume for goods and services generated by U.S. credit cards reached $4.234 trillion in 2019, up 7.6% versus 2018. By 2024, credit cards are projected to generate $4.904 trillion in purchase volume. 

Private label prepaid and ACH card purchase volume was $269.56 billion in 2019, up 4.1% over 2018. This spending occurred at general merchandise stores, specialty and department stores, gasoline stations, health and wellness facilities, and other select locations. By 2024, purchase volume on private label cards is projected to decline to $256.73 billion.

General purpose and private label credit card purchase transactions combined were 47.07 billion in 2019, up 8.4% over 2018. Purchase transactions are expected to total 52.23 billion in 2024. 

Outstanding credit card receivables reached $1.170 trillion at the end of 2019, up 4.1% over the prior year. By 2024, outstandings are expected to reach $1.199 trillion. 

Debit Cards Projected

General purpose and private label debit and prepaid cards issued in the U.S. generated purchase volume of $3.663 trillion in 2019, an increase of 8.7% over 2018. Visa’s debit card market share was 24.59%, an increase from 24.19% in 2018. Mastercard’s market share grew to 10.01% from 9.93%.

Domestic-only network cards combined had purchase volume of $617.82 billion in 2019, an increase of 6.7% over 2018. Their market share slipped to 7.82% from 7.92% in 2018. 

Private label debit cards, which are settled through the ACH (automated clearing house) network, generated purchase volume of $17.16 billion in 2018. This was a decline of 0.9% versus the prior year. General merchandisers, convenience stores, and gasoline retailers issued those cards, which held a 0.22% market share in 2019, down from 0.24% in 2018. Prepaid private label cards generated $295.35 billion in purchase volume last year, an increase of 5.0% versus 2018. The market share of prepaid private label cards at 3.74% declined from 3.85% in 2018. General purpose prepaid card figures are included with the Visa and Mastercard debit card numbers.

By 2024, general purpose and private label debit and prepaid purchase volume on cards issued in the U.S. is expected to reach $5.814 trillion. At that time, Visa debit card purchase volume is expected to be $3.168 trillion, with Mastercard at $1.331 trillion and domestic debit networks at $882.65 billion. 

Purchase volume on private label prepaid cards is projected to reach $410.30 billion and ACH debit card purchase volume is projected to reach $22.53 billion. 

General purpose and private label debit and prepaid cards combined generated 91.55 billion purchase transactions in 2019, an increase of 6.9% over 2018. Combined general purpose and private label debit and prepaid card purchase transactions are projected to reach 116.93 billion in 2024. 

In 2024, Visa debit card purchase transactions are expected to reach 60.94 billion, with Mastercard at 26.19 billion, domestic debit networks at 20.49 billion, private label prepaid at 8.99 billion, and ACH at 0.3 billion.

At the end of 2019, general purpose and private label debit cards in circulation totaled 6.05 billion, up 3.8% versus 2018. At year-end 2024, debit and prepaid cards in circulation are expected to reach 7.07 billion, led by private label prepaid cards (6.00 billion), followed by Visa (709.4 million), domestic debit networks (345.0 million), Mastercard (286.1 million), and ACH (33.7 million). 

Prior issues: 1163, 1141, 1119, 1097, 1074, 1051, 1028, 1005, 984, 961



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