DES MOINES, Iowa (12/19/12)--Holiday gift card sales have increased and are expected to continue rising in the week leading up to Christmas, according to The Members Group (TMG).
To date, TMG's financial institution (FI) clients have sold 119% more ATIRAgift cards this year, as compared with sales om 2011. TMG clients are averaging a 31% increase of ATIRAgift cards sold per financial institution location over 2011.
"The growth trends we're seeing are in alignment with predictions of increases in prepaid this holiday season," said Konrad Christensen, TMG retail payments product manager.
One such prediction came from the National Retail Federation. In its 2012 holiday consumer spending survey, nearly 60% of respondents planned to buy gift cards this holiday season.
The increase in prepaid sales may be tied to consumers' increase in online shopping, according to Christensen.
"The Consumer Debit Payment Choice Research Study issued in October found gift cards actually top debit and credit cards as consumers' preferred way to shop and pay online," said Christensen.
About 71% of consumers surveyed indicated they feel secure using gift or prepaid reload cards to make online purchases, said the study.
Total card loads in 2012 are up more than $70,000 compared with 2012, according to preliminary results.