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Second-quarter debit transactions are up
MADISON, Wis. (8/11/08)--MasterCard and Visa both reported that debit transactions were up in the second quarter, which is good news for credit unions, according to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). U.S. Visa debit cardholders initiated 4.9 billion ATM and purchase transactions during the second quarter, up from 4.24 billion during the same period last year--a 15.6% increase (ATM & Debit News Aug. 7). While the U.S. economic downturn has reduced credit card purchases, spending in other areas, including debit, remains strong, Joseph W. Saunders, Visa chairman/CEO, told analysts during a recent conference call (ATM & Debit News). MasterCard transactions initiated in the U.S. totaled 1.9 billion in the second quarter, up from 1.6 billion for the same period last year--an 18.8% increase. CUNA’s Credit Union Service Profile for 2007 indicates that 94.5% of credit unions nationwide offer ATM cards. How does the increase in debit transactions affect credit unions? “This is good news for the credit union industry, assuming there is increasing debit usage and decreasing credit usage,” Doug Benzine, CUNA vice president of research and advice, told News Now. “If people are not adding to their debt load, that’s a good thing for credit union members. “In this economy, a lot of people are watching what is happening to the debt load overall,” he added. “If members are trying to stay within their means and put money away as the economy moves through tough times, that’s a good development.”
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