OBSERVATIONS FROM THE FINTECH SNARK TANK
Every so often, one financial services observer or another proclaims the death of card cards. Back in April 2013, Motley Fool, in an article titled The Slow Death of Credit Cards declared:
“Great news: Americans are giving up on one of the most ruthless destroyers of wealth the numerically challenged have ever known: credit cards. We’re more interested in debit cards these days. Old style American consumerism, one built on debt, may be coming to an end. Good riddance, credit cards.”
In December 2017, CNBC trumpeted “the age of credit cards may be coming to an end—and that’s a good thing” and added:
“You have to admit there are some problems inherent to credit cards. The most glaring of these is that credit cards often aren’t 100 percent secure. Users face issues ranging from hackers and fraud to lost and stolen cards.”
Like that wasn’t a problem with cash. And who would ever dream of writing a fraudulent check?
Meanwhile, in the six years following the publication of the Motley Fool article, credit card debt grew by 50% to $930 billion at the end of 2019.
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So much for the “end of American consumerism.”
Credit Card Volume is Charging Ahead in 2022
Fast forward to 2022, and large credit card issuers like Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo are seeing strong credit card volume growth. In the first quarter of 2022, the three issuers’ volume grew 29%, 24%, and 33% year-over-year, respectively.