How COVID-19 is Shifting Member Spending Behavior and How to Prepare for the Future, July 1-15, 2020
Member spending continued to climb back to pre-COVID levels during the first two weeks of July; transaction volume within the CO-OP debit portfolio was almost exactly level with the same period last year while the dollar amount of those transactions was up 17 percent. Meanwhile, credit transaction volume declined 8 percent compared to last year but the total dollar amount was up 2 percent. The shift to debit was to be expected as more Americans went back to work and more states continued easing business restrictions; however with the additional $600 per week unemployment payouts under the CARES Act set to expire this week, we may see a shift back to reliance on credit.
Here are the category-level spending trends we are seeing for the first half of July (data comparing July 1-15, 2020 with July 1-15, 2019):
Online Bookstores (Amazon)
Debit: Up 32 percent
Credit: Up 48 percent
CO-OP Analysis: Amazon continues to be a strong top-of-wallet opportunity for credit unions, both within their credit and debit portfolios. Spending appears to remain steady, despite the fact that there is still no confirmed date for Amazon Prime Day.\
Debit: Down 50 percent
Credit: Down 69 percent
CO-OP Analysis: While July is typically the busiest travel month of the year, travel was down over 50 percent in the first two weeks of July. Members aren’t ready to travel by airplane just yet; a recent survey commissioned by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) found that 84 percent of travelers expressed concerns about catching the virus while on the move and a higher percentage feared being quarantined while traveling.
Debit: Up 12 percent
Credit: Down 37 percent
CO-OP Analysis: Road trips by car, on the other hand, are becoming much more popular. Members preferred debit for purchases at car rental agencies, which jumped nearly 12 percent compared to last year. This could be a lasting trend; a survey from the University of Chicago found that 27 percent of consumers anticipated taking more long-distance trips by car post-pandemic.
Barber, Beauty Shops and Spas
Debit: Down 24 percent
Credit: Down 35 percent
CO-OP Analysis: Health and beauty businesses began opening up in many states in June but it appears most members are holding off on that post-pandemic haircut (or perhaps continuing to do it themselves). This may change over the coming months as more businesses begin to implement safety precautions and procedures to put their customers at ease.
Debit: Down 3 percent
Credit: Down 8 percent
CO-OP Analysis: Department stores continued to see some relief from a difficult year, with credit purchases down 8 percent and debit purchases down only 3 percent. Economists are still concerned about the long-term health of this industry as more consumers shift to eCommerce.
Debit: Up 25 percent
Credit: Up 16 percent
CO-OP Analysis: In each payment type, transactions continue to be up year over year indicating that home improvement is still a popular spending category.
CO-OP will continue to monitor trends across its Credit and Debit portfolio and provide solutions to ensure credit unions have what they need to serve their members. For more information on how CO-OP can support credit unions throughout COVID-19, please visit www.co-opfs.org/covid19.
About CO-OP Financial Services
CO-OP Financial Services is a payments and financial technology company whose mission is ensuring the success of the credit union movement. CO-OP payments solutions, engagement services and strategic counsel help credit unions optimize member experiences to consistently provide seamless, personalized multi-channel offerings, while delivering secure, sophisticated fraud mitigation service. For more information, visit www.co-opfs.org.