The Nilson Report

THE CURRENT ISSUE: Issue 1126 | Feb 2018


Companies featured in this issue include:

Top U.S. Credit Card Issuers

Top 50 U.S. Mastercard and Visa Credit Card Issuers

Apple Pay Cash for P2P/Purchases

G+D Mobile Security Payment Technology

Giact Protects Against Synthetic Identity Fraud

Reward360 Loyalty Platforms

CardSavr API for Card Issuers

Paya Payment Processing

Top Issuers of U.S. General Purpose Credit Cards 2017

Market Shares of Purchase Volume for Top Credit Card Issuers 2008-2017

Shares of Outstandings for U.S. Credit Card Issuers 2017

Top U.S. Credit Card Issuers: Outstandings, Volume, Transactions, Cards

50 Largest Mastercard & Visa Credit Card Issuers in the U.S.-Ranked by Outstandings 2017

50 Largest Mastercard & Visa Credit Card Issuers in the U.S.-Ranked by Outstandings

The 50 largest Mastercard and Visa issuers in the U.S. are ranked on pages 10 and 11 by outstanding credit card receivables. The 5 largest are shown here.

1. JPMorgan Chase, Delaware
$149.51 billion, +5.4%
2. Citibank, South Dakota
$107.73 billion, +8.0%
3. Bank of America, Delaware
$104.74 billion, 5.7%
4. Capital One, Virginia
$98.22 billion, 8.6%
5. Wells Fargo, South Dakota
$ 38.42 billion, 1.1 %

Full access to the 50 Largest Mastercard & Visa Credit Card Issuers in the U.S.-Ranked by Outstandings is available when you subscribe to The Nilson Report. 



In December 2017, Apple launched a person-to-person (P2P) money transfer service in the U.S. tied to iPhones and iPads using iOS 11.2 and Apple Watch using watch OS 4.2. Users can access the service by using the Messages app, by asking Siri, Apple’s artificial intelligence, voice-activated personal assistant, or from the Contacts app. There is no need to install an app or create another account. Only other eligible Apple device users can receive a money transfer because all money received is automatically added to a digital-only prepaid Apple Pay Cash Card stored in the Apple Wallet app. Apple Pay Cash Cards are tied to a user’s Apple ID number linked to a valid email address. 

To initiate a P2P transaction, Apple Pay Cash users sign in to their iCloud account, secured by two-factor authentication. Apple Pay Cash payments for goods and services in-store, in a native app, or on the web are authorized over the Discover Global Network or directly by Apple. Transactions are tokenized using the Discover Digital Exchange service. No PIN is needed. If POS terminals prompt for a PIN, users input any four digit code such as “0000.”

The Apple Pay Cash Card is a digital-only prepaid account with FDIC insurance. Green Dot Bank, the fourth largest prepaid card issuer among Visa and Mastercard issuers, is the Apple Pay Cash Card issuer. Green Dot handles all federal anti-money laundering and know-your-customer compliance requirements.

Information used in the setup of an Apple Pay Cash account is shared with Green Dot and Apple Payments, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple that stores and processes information separately from the other units of Apple, and in a way that keeps the information from the rest of Apple. 

When users make a P2P transfer, add money to their Apple Pay Cash account, or transfer money to their bank account, a call is made to Apple Pay servers to obtain a cryptographic nonce, a one-time-only random number, which is a stand-in for the value returned for Apple Pay within apps. The nonce and other transaction data are passed to the secure element (SE) in the device to generate a payment signature. When the payment signature comes out of the SE, it is passed to the Apple Pay servers. The transaction is then initiated and the user is notified that it has been completed. 

If users finance a P2P money transfer from a credit card they pay a 3% fee. Transfers made from debit cards are free. P2P money transfer recipients can move money to their bank account at no charge. Funds can be moved into an Apple Pay Cash account by a Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Amex debit or prepaid card, or from a P2P transfer. No credit card funding is allowed. There is a weekly limit of $10,000 on the amount of money that can be funded from a debit card or prepaid card account. The maximum Apple Pay Cash balance is $20,000. 

Every P2P and payment transaction is secured by Face ID on iPhoneX, Touch ID on other iPhone and iPad devices, or a passcode on Apple Watch. 

Jennifer Bailey is Vice President and Head of Commerce at Apple in Cupertino, California, (408) 966-1010,,

Stephen Streit is CEO at Green Dot in Pasadena, California, (626) 765-2175,,

© Copyright 2018 The Nilson Report