Credit Union Members Spent 15% More in 2011 Holiday Season; Study by CO-OP Financial Services and Saylent Technologies Shows Robust Growth in Purchase Activity

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Shoppers who belong to credit unions spent 15% more and made 15% more transactions during the peak holiday shopping season in 2011 than in 2010, according to an analysis by CO-OP Financial Services and Saylent Technologies, a provider of payment intelligence solutions.

Our analysis revealed a remarkable 10% increase in the number of debit cards in use during the holiday season, the result of a burgeoning consumer interest in credit unions.

Shoppers who belong to credit unions spent 15% more and made 15% more transactions during the peak holiday shopping season in 2011 than in 2010, according to an analysis by CO-OP Financial Services and Saylent Technologies, a provider of payment intelligence solutions.

“This month-long holiday spending surge among credit union members is even higher than Black Friday sales growth among the same group, which we found grew 8.1% year over year,” said Stan Hollen, President/CEO, CO-OP Financial Services. “This robust sales activity mirrors the powerful momentum of the credit union movement overall.”

The holiday sales analysis is based on more than 71.9 million transactions representing $2.8 billion in spending made between November 25 and December 25, 2011. Drawn from debit card transactions across 563 credit unions processed by CO-OP Financial Services, the year-over-year comparison was performed through an advanced analytics solution, CO-OP Total Revelation™, powered by Saylent Technologies, and was conducted by Saylent’s Insight360™ consulting team.

“Our analysis revealed a remarkable 10% increase in the number of debit cards in use during the holiday season, the result of a burgeoning consumer interest in credit unions,” said Tyson Nargassans, President and CEO of Saylent Technologies. “The CO-OP Total Revelation solution provides detailed payment intelligence that helps card issuers uncover hidden opportunities and insights to better serve their expanding roster of members.”

The analysis spanned 30 days of spending activity among the credit union members both at brick-and-mortar establishments and on the Internet. Some of the key highlights:

  •      ’Tis the season for politics: The end of 2011 saw a spike in political contributions, up 513% over the same time last year, as the U.S. Presidential campaign season went into full swing.
  •     Holiday cheer: Tavern and alcoholic beverage purveyors toasted the end of the year with a 48% increase in sales.
  •     A season of giving: Contributions to charitable and social service organizations were up 38% year over year.
  •     Stocking up: Buying clubs and shopping services bulked up with a 125% sales increase.
  •     Popular gifts: Among the merchandise categories showing strongest gains were leather goods (up 42%), records and CDs (up 42%), flowers and nursery stock (up 40%), bicycles (up 22%), computer software (up 21%), books (up 21%), candy and nuts (up 18%), and pets (up 17%).

For more information on CO-OP Total Revelation, visit http://www.co-opfs.org.

About Saylent Technologies, Inc.

Saylent Technologies, based in Franklin, Mass., develops payment intelligence solutions that help organizations understand and capitalize on payment behaviors. Employing innovative analytics and segmentation techniques, Saylent’s Card360™ solution identifies card usage patterns by cardholder, targets underperforming or at-risk segments, and enables corresponding marketing programs and metrics. Saylent’s Account360™ solution provides a holistic perspective on customers across all payment types, enabling financial institutions to understand and shift customer behaviors and increase share-of-wallet. Saylent’s Insight360™ consulting services help clients speed time to value with expert analysis and customized marketing services. For more information, please visit http://www.saylent.com or call (508) 570-2161.

About CO-OP Financial Services

Based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and founded in 1981, CO-OP Financial Services is the industry leader in access and convenience products for credit unions. CO-OP Financial Services connects credit union members to their accounts through network, payment processing, e-commerce, shared branching and call center services. With more than 3,000 credit union members, 30 million cardholders, 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs, 4,400 shared branch locations and more than two billion annual transactions, CO-OP Financial Services offers the tools, counsel and leadership to help credit unions prosper. To learn more, visit http://www.co-opfs.org.

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Catherine Marenghi

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