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U.S. Credit and Debit Card Spending Up 21% in July

Strength of economy evidenced by increase in consumer card spending in 95% of the 250+ industries monitored by TSG

New market data published by The Strawhecker Group (TSG), the largest analytics and consulting firm focused on the payments acceptance industry, illustrates the strength of the U.S. economy. TSG data shows that July year-over-year consumer spending on credit and debit cards was up 21% nationwide. Further, when compared to July 2019 to adjust for the influence of COVID, spending was up nearly 20% when looking at a two-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Read the press release.

“The two-year comparison shows that the tailwinds to the U.S. economy as well as the payments industry are apparent and material. Increased merchant acceptance and consumer usage when paired with strong economic growth, combine to show attractiveness of these markets” said Mike Strawhecker, President of TSG. “Consumer spending comprises 70% of the United States’ GDP, and 70% of consumer spending is electronic. This underscores the point that the payments ecosystem is the backbone of the U.S. and global economies.”  

Various industries contributed to July’s credit and debit card two-year growth (2021 versus 2019, Two-Year CAGR). 


Among the 250+ industries TSG monitors, high performing industries included:

  • Non-Financial Institutions – including cryptocurrency
    increased 81%
  • Aquariums increased 51%
  • Car Rental Agencies increased 48%
  • Sporting Goods Stores increased 48%
  • Video Rental Stores – including streaming services increased 41%
  • Grocery – ecommerce only increased 38%
  • Retail – ecommerce only increased 34%
  • General Construction increased 33%
  • Air & Ground Freight – excluding the government Postal Service increased 30%
  • B2B Distributors of Durable Goods increased 29%

Many of the high growth industries may be benefiting from consumer preferences shifting to digital goods, new volume shifting from check to card, as well as the proliferation of ecommerce spending. In addition, a TSG and Visa study found that that 26% of consumers expect to use cash less frequently than they did before the pandemic.



TSG forecasts that the larger industry groups of Construction, B2B, Personal Services (e.g., Landscaping Services), and Utilities will outperform the market in the near-term, driven by consumer demand and the conversion to card payments.

Geographic performance also varied from state to state, with Nevada, South Carolina, Delaware, and Arkansas all having 25%+ growth when comparing July 2021 to July 2019.

For more information on AIM please contact TSG online or call 1-402-964-2617. For media or data inquiries, please email

The Data

The sample, powered by the TSG’s AIM platform, comprises credit and debit-card data on nearly 4M small and enterprise merchants in over 250 industries. With transaction data from nearly half of all card-accepting merchants in the U.S., AIM closely mirrors the overall makeup of the U.S. card acceptance market and has a positive correlation with other data sets such as the U.S. Census. Learn how AIM represents the U.S. payments market.

Businesses prefer the power of AIM to tackle their big data problem and maximize profitability. TSG helps leading payments companies manage and harmonize data to provide key metrics and market benchmarks.

Metrics Definitions

The metrics defined in this release were calculated as follows:

  • Consumer spending: Per Merchant Daily Volume Adjusted for Days Processed
  • YoY Change: Year-over-Year Change in Per Merchant Adjusted Daily Volume divided by the Per Merchant Adjusted Daily Volume from Jul 2020 to Jul 2021
  • Two-year Change: Two-Year CAGR in Per Merchant Adjusted Daily Volume from Jul 2019 to Jul 2021

About TSG

The Strawhecker Group (TSG) is the largest analytics and consulting firm focused on the payments acceptance industry. TSG serves the entire payments ecosystem and has experience in working on large-scale projects for the world’s biggest payment players. The firm has worked with all card networks, nine of the top ten merchant acquirers in the U.S., as well as leading private equity firms and investment banks. Please visit