Purchases at the point of sale continue to account for the lion’s share of payment card transactions, but online transactions grew significantly in the past year, while in-store transactions were flat, according to one of the largest card issuers in the world. In a monthly transaction and spending report, Bank of America looked at card transactions across its 40 million active credit and debit card accounts and found its cardholders made 35 percent more online transactions and spent 19 percent more in August 2016 compared to the same month last year. Point-of-sale transactions and spending showed no gain, according to the Bank of America August 2016 Consumer Spending Snapshot. Both overall spend and the overall number of transactions per account grew 4 percent year over year.
And, while mobile wallet spending accounted for only around 1 percent of all B of A payment card transactions, both spending (225 percent) and transactions (259 percent) via this source grew significantly from August 2015 to August 2016. Online spending accounted for 13 percent of all transactions and recurring payments accounted for 3 percent.
The report said the online trend was most evident at clothing and departments stores, where most back-to-school shopping occurs. Online spend in August at clothing retailers grew by 29 percent per active account year over year, while online transactions increased by 34 percent per active account over the same period. Department store Websites saw an even greater impact: B of A cardholders spent 59 percent more there online this August than last and made 70 percent more transactions.