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Written by Cyndie Martini
on September 22, 2020

In PSCU's Tracking Transaction Trends report, ending for the week of September 6, card spending is up due to Labor Day and back-to-school spending. However, back-to-school spending is different this year because so many areas are going virtually back-to-school. Work from home or remote working is having a similar impact on spending choices.

PSCU's report is from its Owner credit union members and is on a same-store basis. Labor Day occurred a week later (Sep. 7) this year compared to last year (Sep. 2). Debit card spending saw a fairly large spike at  23.6%, which is higher than the four-week average of 15.4%. Transactions were also up 7.8% for the tenth consecutive week.

Credit card spend was up 9.9%, beating the four-week average of 1.5%. Transactions turned up from their recent negative spend. They were up 2.0%, which is above the four-week average of -3.5%.

The trend of using less cash also continues. Consumers continue pushing cash aside in favor of contactless, mobile wallets, and card-not-present (CNP) alternatives. Specifically, for “tap-and-go,” a form of contactless payment, it continues to gain adoption. This is not surprising given we are still in the throes of COVID-19. ATM withdrawals remain down 14.6%. Despite being down, that's actually above the four-week average of -21.8%.

Beating out their already high four-week average was mobile wallets. Debit card mobile wallet purchases were up 73.5% year over year, which is above the already high four-week average of 72.6%. Credit card purchases were up 43.9%, which is above the four-week average of 42.3%.

Categories that are still down include restaurant credit card spend (down 10.1%), while debit card spend in this category was up 8%.  Credit card clothing store spend was also down 13.5% while debit card spend was up 5.8%.

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