The U.S. Spending Snapshot shows growth in consumer spending via electronic payments like credit cards, debit cards and mobile wallets more than doubled year-over-year from the third quarter (Q3) 2017 to the third quarter (Q3) 2018, according to new analysis from the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) and The Strawhecker Group (TSG).
The ETA/TSG U.S. Spending Snapshot, found overall spending via electronic payments in Q3 2018 grew 7.2%, more than doubling Q3 2017’s year-over-year growth rate of 3.5%.
“The third quarter of 2018 proved to be another strong period for electronic payments, as US consumers continued to see economic benefits from tax reform and strong personal income growth,” said Jared Drieling, Senior Director of Business Intelligence at TSG. “Despite the rise in year-over-year gas prices during this time period, consumers remained confident and channelled their spending on discretionary items, as evidenced by the growth in retail categories.”
Year-over-year spending volume on gas increased dramatically as well, largely due to rising gas prices. Spending via electronic payments at gas stations grew 16.9% year-over-year, outpacing 9.8% year-over-year growth in Q3 2017. Despite higher gas prices, retail spending via electronic payments growth continued to outpace that of years prior. Spending grew 6.7% year-over-year in Q3 2018, up from 5.7% in Q2 2018 and 3.1% in Q3 2017.
“Our latest Spending Snapshot is indicative of consumer trust and confidence in their use of electronic payments products,” continues Amy Zirkle, VP of Industry Affairs at ETA. “Consumers channelled their confidence into spending with electronic payment methods powered by ETA members.”
Other merchant segments to experience year-over-year growth in Q3 2018 include general merchandise and electronics stores. Merchants in the South experienced particularly robust year-over-year growth.
The Southwest region posted 9.15% growth and the Southeast region posted 7.66% , outperforming the Plains (6.73%), Far West (5.84%), Great Lakes (7.24%), Mideast (6.82%) and New England (7.46%). Only the Rocky Mountains experienced higher growth, at 8.15%.
The ETA/TSG U.S. Spending Snapshot is a quarterly report that analyses actual consumer spending at 3.7 million US merchants, highlighting payment trends by both merchant categories and geographic breakdowns.
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