Report: Dramatic Fall in Card Volume During Pandemic

Report: Dramatic Fall in Card Volume During Pandemic

May 28, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to alter the landscape for businesses and cardholders across the country. New data from The Strawhecker Group (TSG) finds 25 percent of all merchants experienced a decline of over 50 percent in April card volume compared to February. 

TSG plotted over one million credit and debit card-accepting merchants in the U.S. and compared their card volume from April to February in order to understand the influence of Covid-19 on their performance. 

“When viewed in totality, the drop of card volume is staggering”, said Mike Strawhecker, president of TSG. “But it gets even more informative as you dissect the data by industry and geography. For example, half of the retail merchants in California lost at least 51 percent of their card volume when comparing April to February. For comparison, half of the retailers in New York lost at least 69 percent of their card volume. Personal Services and Dine-in Restaurants fared even worse in both states.”

The data adds to a growing picture of change in the payments landscape amid the pandemic. Survey results released earlier this month from CO-OP Financial Services found card-present spending dropped significantly during stay-at-home orders around the country this spring. That study found a 41 percent year-over-year decline in card-present spending for credit cardholders during April. At the same time, card-not-present transactions were up 30 percent.

 “Stay-at-home guidelines have caused a surge in digital payments,” said CO-OP in a statement.

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Joan Goodchild

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