Credit union members' Prime Day spending up 51%: CO-OP

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A later-than-normal Amazon Prime Day didn’t deter consumers from pulling out credit union-branded plastic for the annual shopping event.

Todd Clark, president and CEO of CO-OP Financial Services
Todd Clark, president and CEO of CO-OP Financial Services

Data released on Monday by CO-OP Financial Services showed a 51% lift on Prime Day for the company’s member credit unions compared to last year. Total dollars spent were up by 51.4%, CO-OP reported, compared with a 51.2% increase in total credit and debit transactions.

CO-OP noted that debit card usage saw a bigger surge this year than credit, with the former rising by 79% compared with a 33% increase for credit cards.

Beth Phillips, director of strategic portfolio growth at CO-OP, said in a press release the surge this year is particularly meaningful “because it demonstrates credit cardholders are leveraging their credit cards for their daily Amazon transactions in ‘essential’ categories.”

Debit cardholders, she added, “demonstrated a higher response rate during the event, most likely for larger or wish list items.”

Total Prime Day spending was $10.4 billion, according to ROI Revolution, a 45.2% rise over last year and 148.2% over 2018, though the event was still a single-day occurrence then.

Still, CO-OP suggested the event’s impact may not be as substantial as in previous years, due to consumers more broadly embracing online buying during the pandemic. Credit card purchases on Amazon have risen 48% year-over-year since April, according to the company’s data.

“The increase in ecommerce totals throughout the pandemic supports our belief that enabling digital payments for members is the path to growth,” CO-OP President and CEO Todd Clark said. “Encouraging members to have your card top-of-wallet for events like Amazon Prime Day and Cyber Monday leads to deeper penetration, usage and engagement with your credit union.

Clark added that because Prime Day was held closer to the holiday-shopping season this year, it’s like that “we’re going to see a prolonged spending boost that will last over the next several weeks.”

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