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%.