The holiday shopping season may be over, but the holiday returns are coming in at full force. Data from PSCU, a credit union service organization, showcases the impact the rise in e-commerce spending is having on returns. Return purchases using debit cards were up 76.2% for the week ending Jan. 3, compared to the week ending Jan. 5, 2020. Returns using credit cards were up 19.4% year-over-year for the same period.
“While returns are up considerably year over year, increases were expected given the significant growth in [card-not-present] purchases, which typically see returns up to three times higher than [card-present] purchases,” PSCU’s Tracking Transaction Trends report noted. “Additionally, shipping companies generally predict Jan. 2 as the highest day for return volume as consumers emerge from the holiday period.” Mastercard Inc. reported in late December that e-commerce sales volume grew by 49% year-over-year in the Oct. 11 to Dec. 24 period.
Average return amounts increased, too. Debit card returns in the goods sector averaged $55.49, a 16.3% increase from last year, while credit card returns averaged $75.95, up 8.5%.
Overall, for the week ending Jan. 3, U.S. spend was up 21.1% for debit purchases and credit increased 6.1%.
Through the holiday shopping season from Nov. 2 through Dec. 27, PSCU says purchases made with debit cards was up 26.2% and up 18.1% for credit cards within the retail goods sector. Card-not-present purchases in the sector were up 55.8% for credit cards and up 38.7% for debit cards.
In related news, St. Petersburg, Fla.-based PSCU renewed a 32-year-old payment-processing agreement with Brookfield, Wis.-based Fiserv Inc. PSCU says the 1,500 credit unions it services handle more than 5.4 billion transactions annually.