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United States Country Report

  • Published Date: April 2018

A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in the United States.

Available for 72 markets, Lafferty Research Country Reports deliver invaluable market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring/processing, retail banking, and consumer credit. A dedicated team of analysts and researchers use both primary and secondary source data, and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and experts.


  • Credit card loans increased by 28 percent from 2011 to 2017. The share of total consumer credit held by credit cards increased from 6.2 percent to seven percent over the same period.
  • The average credit card penetration rate per 100 adults increased from 359 in 2011 to 406 in 2017. This reflects the enormous appetite for credit among Americans: many have little in savings and depend on short-term credit to make ends meet.
  • While non-cash payments are becoming increasingly prevalent in the US, cash also remains popular: ATM withdrawals using debit cards increased from $617 billion in 2011 to $900 billion in 2017. ATM billed volume as a proportion of total debit card billed volume has remained steady during this timeframe, at about 25 percent.
  • According to Visa, the number of EMV-enabled Visa payment cards has increased from 159 million in September 2015 to 481 million in December 2017, meaning that 67 percent of all Visa payment cards were on the EMV standard at that time.
  • During 2016, total card fraud in the United States amounted to some nine billion dollars - a 0.43 percent increase compared to 2015. This meant that about 40 percent of total global card fraud
  • happened in the US, although US billed volume represented a little under a quarter of global billed volume.
  • The US remains by far the most profitable credit cards market in the world in absolute terms: industry-wide (excluding private label cards) pre-tax profitability reached $72.3 billion during 2017, with profit per card coming to $111.
  • While American Express held only five percent of credit cards in issue during 2017, it accounted for 19 percent of credit card billed volume (making it the third-ranked network by this measure).
  • Visa dominates the debit cards market in terms of cards in issue, holding a 67 percent share during 2017.


Demographics and Economy:
Outlines the key metrics and trends which influence the development of retail banking and payments in the country:

  • Population structure
  • Income
  • Mobile and internet use
  • Economic data

Retail Banking:
Explores the structure of the local banking system, its infrastructure and the leading players. Data includes:

  • Aggregate retail banking indicators
  • Bank branch, ATMS and POS terminals
  • Profitability of top banks

Consumer Finance:
Overview of consumer finance in the country. Categories analysed include:

  • Mortgage loans
  • Personal loans
  • Credit card loans
  • Vehicle loans

Credit Cards:
Industry-leading credit card coverage. We detail the past present and future of the industry through our data and commentary, including:

  • Market size split by consumer and commercial credit cards: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Profit pool analysis
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Debit Cards:

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Prepaid Cards:

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume


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