Consumer Payments in the U.S.: Trends Driving the Credit, Debit, and Prepaid Card Industries

Published: February 2012
No. of Pages: 114

Displacement of cash and checks in combination with the nation's formerly increasing disposable income has long served to grow the market for payment products. As that displacement has slowed and the nation's per capita income has declined, participants in the consumer payments industry can succeed only by growing market share. Organic growth in the U.S. industry is not in the cards for the foreseeable future.

This United States focused research examines the demographic, payment product and channel preference changes driving a profound transformation of the payments industry.

This new report provides historical market size, industry and product revenue forecasts for both traditional and new payment products and channels. It also drills down to product and brand preferences as well as bill payment behaviors and financial attitudes specific to seniors, older and younger Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials.

For each cohort, disposable income is broken out by spending categories, allowing payment industry participants to identify recurring payment changes over time and to target those categories most susceptible to new marketing initiatives.

Specific trends addressed both in macro and generational cohort specific terms include responses to debit card fees and debit card loyalty programs cancelled by issuers in the wake of debit interchange caps. Consumers have rejected new debit fees and as they have been deluged with credit card offers, they have quickly switched their product preference from debit to rejuvenated credit cards.

With household incomes declining even as healthcare costs and student loan debt are rising, the overall payments pie is shrinking, prompting payment providers to base profit growth strategies on taking market share from their competitors.

The overall economy will remain stalled until 2013 or 2014, and Millennials as the newest adult generational cohort have brought with them novel payment and channel preferences. This report guides issuers, retailers and marketers in optimizing the potency of each product differentiating feature, mastering new payment and communication channels, and building loyalty programs based on cost sharing with merchants to maintain or grow market share.

About the Author

Elizabeth Rowe is the managing director of Banking Research Associates, the independent research and consultancy firm focused on underbanked consumers and the consumer payments industry. Formerly, Elizabeth was Group Director of Banking Advisory Services at Mercator Advisory Group, a banking and payments consultancy. Prior to joining Mercator, she was the senior banking consultant at Guideline, Inc., a consultancy/business advisory firm. For the past 18 years, she has worked with the nation's largest banks, credit unions, retailers and solutions providers as they assess emerging consumer, technological, regulatory and competitive challenges, trends and opportunities. She has taught at the ABA School of Bank Card Management and frequently speaks at industry, federal regulator and client conferences. She has been widely quoted in the financial press including The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, American Banker, Forbes, Independent Banker and CNN.

Geographical Focus: United States

Published By: Packaged Facts
Product Code: Packaged Facts152

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