Credit union members' holiday spending outpaced national average: Study

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A shorter-than-usual holiday shopping season in 2019 was no problem for credit unions.

That’s according to new data from the credit union service organization PSCU, which reported overall debit and credit spending at member institutions was up 7.86% year-over-year, while transaction volumes were up by 7.14%.

The St. Petersburg, Fla.-based CUSO noted that the National Retail Federation reported holiday spending increasing by just 4.1% last year.

“Despite six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2019 than in 2018, PSCU Owner credit unions saw nearly double the year-over-year market growth rate in sales,” Scott Wagner, PSCU’s EVP and chief revenue officer, said in a statement. “We are pleased that our efforts to help drive sustained growth and an unparalleled experience for our credit unions are helping them continue to outpace the market.”

While credit and debit use went up, mobile wallet usage surged, rising 116% as PSCU institutions compared to 2018, the firm reported, with PayPal, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay the most commonly used mobile payment methods.

Online holiday spending for debit rose by 10% during the season, while credit saw an 11% lift. Furthermore, 18% of cardholders conducted their transactions within retail store categories on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Super Saturday, the final Saturday before Christmas.

The CUSO compiled card information from its credit unions that leveraged the CUSO for debit and credit processing during both the 2018 and 2019 holiday shopping seasons. Then, PSCU compared year-over-year data over those two full-month periods to reach its findings.

PSCU's study follows a similar report from CO-OP Financial Services issued shortly after the holiday-shopping season kicked off.

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Payments Debit cards Credit cards Mobile wallets Apple Pay Samsung Pay PayPal PSCU