In its annual survey of the bank card industry, the American Bankers Association confirmed trends issuers have been talking about for the last couple of years. "Bank Card Industry 1995," released Dec. 21, found that balance transfers, purchases, and cash advances fueled growth in 1994. Outstandings jumped 30% in 1994 to $257 billion at yearend, and by mid-1995 that growth continued at a brisk clip with a 16% annualized increase to $278 billion.
About 61% of the 198 Visa and MasterCard issuers who responded to the survey offered cardholders at least one balance transfer program in 1994. More than $628 million was transferred to new accounts, the survey found, with an average transfer of $2,278.