Wednesday , June 26, 2019

Eye on Transactions: Strong Consumer Spending Lifts Payment Cards at Chase, Citi, and Wells

With the economy still humming along, three of the nation’s biggest banks on Friday reported healthy increases in third-quarter payment card purchase volumes.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., owner of the nation’s biggest bank-run merchant acquirer, posted $343.8 billion in merchant-processing volume, a 14% increase from $301.6 billion in 2017’s third quarter. Merchant volume for 2018’s first nine months is up 14% year-over-year to $990.9 billion.

Sales volume on Chase consumer credit cards grew 12% to $176 billion from the prior year quarter’s $157.7 billion. Combined credit and debit card purchases also rose 12% to $259 billion from $231.1 billion. Despite the higher spending, New York City-based JPMorgan Chase said net interchange income was lower in the third quarter, but didn’t give a number.

Chase’s cross-town rival, Citigroup Inc., reported $134.9 billion in worldwide credit card purchase volume in the third quarter, an 8% increase from $124.9 billion a year earlier. In North America, Citi-branded general-purpose cards posted $87.3 billion in volume, up 9% from $80.4 billion in 2017’s third quarter.

Citi’s big retail card operation generated $22.1 billion in purchases, up 11% year-over-year. The bank’s remaining $25.5 billion in card volume came from Asia and Latin America.

Meanwhile, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. reported debit card point-of-sale purchase volume of $87.5 billion in the third quarter, up 9% from $80 billion a year earlier. POS debit transactions rose 7% to 2.24 billion from 2.09 billion.

Wells’s consumer general-purpose credit cards posted $19.4 billion in third-quarter POS purchase volume, up 7% from $18.2 billion a year earlier. Total consumer credit card purchases rose 6% to $21.5 billion. Commercial cards generated $8.2 billion in purchases, up 9%.

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