The Members Group, Saylent and CO-OP Find Valentine’s Day Spending Way Up

Improving Economy Leading to a More Romantic America?

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. & FRANKLIN, Mass. & DES MOINES, Iowa--()--Americans are perhaps feeling more romantic in addition to feeling more confident about the steadily improving economy.

“When combined with sophisticated analytics, data allows us to actively listen in on the consumer conversation”

Research by three organizations serving the community-based financial institution (FI) industry reveals Valentine’s Day-related purchasing was way up in 2015. The Members Group (TMG) found credit spending increased 21 percent, and CO-OP Financial Services and Saylent Technologies, Inc. (Saylent) found debit spending increased 16 percent for the three days culminating in Valentine’s Day compared to 2014.

Credit Spending Up According to TMG Research

The 21 percent increase in credit spending is based on transactions made from Thursday, Feb. 12 through Saturday, Feb. 14 by users carrying credit cards issued by TMG’s FI clients. TMG’s analysts attribute this to healthy growth in credit card portfolios of TMG’s clients and the fact cardholders used their credit cards on average 3.5 percent more this year as compared to last year. The analysis is via the card processor’s proprietary analysis tool, ClearTrend. The tool can provide similar data on a per-FI basis for the processing clients of TMG.

“When combined with sophisticated analytics, data allows us to actively listen in on the consumer conversation,” said Shazia Manus, CEO, TMG. “While our issuing partners want to understand overall transaction volume trends, they are also interested in how various demographic and psychographic data, such as age, interests and affinity to their FI, impact spending behaviors.”

Additional data emerging from the TMG analysis includes:

  • While Millennials (age 18-29) made 58 percent more transactions than the next closest age bracket, they spent far less. Millennials spent an average of $39.09 – 65 percent less than the next lowest age bracket (age 30-39).
  • The early month-on-book cardholders (0 to 3 months) were the biggest spenders. They led all other categories in both transactions and dollars spent, spending 54 percent more than the next highest category (4 to 6 months).
  • Out of the three days, the day before Valentine’s Day (Friday, Feb. 13) saw the most credit transactions – 9.3 percent more than Feb. 12 and 5.7 percent more than Feb. 14.
  • Candy was a popular choice among last-minute shoppers. On Feb. 13, cardholders carrying credit cards issued by TMG clients spent a total of $23,572 on candy, a 253-percent increase from one week prior.
  • Jewelry sales also topped out on Feb. 13 at $159,779 total spend. However, there were seven days in February in which total spending on jewelry exceeded $100,000 (compared to only one day in January) – indicating not everyone waited until the last minute.

CO-OP and Saylent Find Increase in Debit Card Spending

During the same Thursday through Saturday period, CO-OP and Saylent found a 16.45 percent increase in debit card spending. The results covered debit activity at all of the merchant types that Saylent tracks nationwide by members of credit unions that use CO-OP for transaction processing. The year-over-year comparison was performed through an advanced analytics solution, CO-OP Revelation, powered by Saylent, and was conducted by Saylent’s FInsights360 consulting team.

“Last year we found debit card spending increased 19 percent compared to 2013, and this year’s increase of 16 percent almost equaled that in Valentine’s Day 2015,” said Stan Hollen, President/CEO, CO-OP. “It seems Americans really are putting their hearts into the economic rebound.”

Additional data emerging from the CO-OP and Saylent analysis includes:

  • People used their debit cards more this year when buying loved ones products to help them check off their “honey-do” lists and better their homes, with an almost 38 percent increase in transactions and close to 49 percent increase in spend at home supply warehouse stores.
  • Consumers used their debit cards more to go out for romantic dinners and drinks, with a more than 33 percent increase in transactions and 47 percent jump in spend at restaurants, and a 79 percent increase in transactions and more than 79 percent increase in spend at bars compared to last year during this time period.
  • Credit union members were not only taking out their debit cards more at restaurants and bars, but they also significantly increased their debit card usage at movie theaters, with a close to 99 percent transaction increase and almost 100 percent spend increase over this time period compared to 2014.
  • Cosmetics stores also experienced a large jump in debit card usage year-over-year, with an almost 80 percent increase in transactions and a more than 73 percent increase in spend at these establishments. This continues the trend seen over 2014’s long Thanksgiving shopping weekend of an increase in debit card usage at cosmetics stores.

“Consumers continued to spend on their loved ones this past Valentine’s Day, with many of the categories we track experiencing a significant rise in debit card usage compared to last year,” said Tyson Nargassans, President/CEO, Saylent. “Insights like these provided by our software are highly valuable for credit unions, as they gain timely knowledge of card usage to enable them to better understand what motivates their members.”

For more information on TMG, visit: www.themembersgroup.com; for Saylent visit: www.saylent.com; and for CO-OP Financial Services, visit: www.co-opfs.org.

Contacts

CO-OP Financial Services
Bill Prichard
800-782-9042, ext. 3450
Bill.Prichard@co-opfs.org

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Release Summary

CO-OP, TMG and Saylent, servicing community financial institutions, found credit and debit spending up significantly during Valentine's Day 2015, based on the cardholder transactions of their clients.

CO-OP Financial Services