Card Spending Growth Stable in March; Spring Promotional Activity, Warm Weather Encouraged Discretionary Spend

ATLANTA, April 10, 2012 – First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today released its First Data SpendTrend® analysis for the full month of March 2012 compared to March 2011. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.

Year-over-year dollar volume growth was 8.7% in March, compared to February’s 8.9% growth. Mild temperatures and early Easter holiday spending drove retail foot traffic despite higher gasoline prices.

“The mild weather across much of the nation in March encouraged retailers to promote sales of spring merchandise, providing an additional catalyst to customer traffic,” said Silvio Tavares, SVP and division manager of First Data Global Information and Analytics Solutions, which publishes SpendTrend. 

In March, PIN debit surged to yearly highs in dollar volume and transaction growth. As a higher percentage of taxpayers elected to have their tax refunds electronically deposited into their bank accounts this year, it appears they made more discretionary purchases with PIN debit cards instead of credit cards.


March Dollar Volume Growth     CHANGE
Credit     +5.7%
Signature Debit     +8.4%
PIN Debit     +14.6%
Check     -2.6%
Note: All transactions are same-store growth.


For more information on First Data SpendTrend, visit or call SpendTrend Customer Care at 800-430-0169. A supplementary podcast including further analysis of the SpendTrend March 2012 report is available here.

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Media Contact
Elizabeth Grice, First Data

First Data SpendTrend, a macro-economic indicator, is based on aggregate same-store sales activity in the First Data Point of Sale Network. First Data SpendTrend does not represent First Data’s financial performance.