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The US credit card industry recorded total revenue $154.9 billion in 2011, down 5.5% from $163.9 billion the previous year. US consumers have turned away en masse from using credit cards, causing their revolving debt to decline over the past two years.
The issuing of credit cards was hit hard by the recession, as high unemployment rates and contracting credit caused delinquencies to rise. These trends contributed to a free fall in profit, as more people delayed making credit card payments or missed payments entirely. However, conditions will ease over the next five years, with the industry set to make a steady recovery.
Second placed operator MasterCard lost share in terms of payment value to American Express. The combined share of the two leaders - Visa and MasterCard - thus fell from over 72% in 2010 to less than 72% in 2011.
The single largest gain in card payment value share came from American Express, which has invested heavily in increasing merchant acceptance and rewards programmes, with a rise of just under one percentage point in 2011 from 2010.
The largest loss in credit card value share was suffered by Citigroup, as the company continued to sell assets to focus on its non-consumer businesses. The largest credit card issuers in 2011 by payment value were JP Morgan Chase, with a 19% market share, American Express, with nearly 19%, Bank of America, with 13%, and Citigroup with a 10% share.
Consumers are expected to increase their usage of credit cards through to 2017 due to the continued expansion of merchant acceptance, a younger card-friendly generation entering the market and the increase in convenience through innovation.
For more information on the US credit card industry, see the latest research: US Credit Card Industry
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