Key themes

    • Purchase volume has continued to show signs of recovery and most issuers are now reporting YoY growth for the first time in a number of; reported spend volumes at or above Q1 2020 levels; all issuers reported modest QoQ declines in spend as is typical following the holiday period
    • Receivables growth continues to experience headwinds (declines for all issuers) primarily as a result of the high payment rate behavior associated with stimulus / relief efforts
    • Charge-off rates have continued to remain well below pre-COVID levels driven primarily by the high payment rates associated with stimulus / relief programs; issuers generally expect losses to increase in late 2021 / early 2022 as consumer payment behavior normalizes and underwriting standards loosen given the favorable credit environment
    • Issuer profitability is elevated and has reached levels not seen for many years  primarily due to large reserve releases (booked at the height of the pandemic) and low loss rates

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Notable happenings

New partnerships
Barclays will acquire the Gap credit card portfolio from SYF in April 2022; Chase partnered with Instacart to develop a co-branded credit card program; Alliance Data launched a new private label credit card with Famous Footwear and a new PLCC and co-brand credit card program with Petco; Barclays launched a new AARP co-brand  product suite (transitioned from Chase); Synchrony added 10 new programs to its CareCredit network; Citizens expanded its Citizens Pay financing solution via a partnership with BJ’s Wholesale; Affirm partnered with Vrbo and Vacasa to enable vacation rental financing

Partnership developments
Synchrony renewed its PLCC and co-brand credit card partnership with American Eagle, PLCC partnerships with Citgo and Phillips 66, and its sales finance partnership with Ashley Homestore; Alliance Data renewed its PLCC partnership with Torrid and its sales finance partnerships with Big Lots and Arhaus

New products/features
AmEx launched refreshed Gold Card; Alliance Data reissued the Victoria’s Secret PLCC as a Mastercard-powered chip card with Apple Pay provisioning capabilities; TD launched new Double Up credit card

Mobile & tech
PayPal launched cryptocurrency checkout solution; Amazon expanded its palm-based checkout solution (Amazon One) to Whole Foods

Industry statistics (based on non-retail card issuers in scorecard section)

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1 Total receivables for all issuers below at end of 1Q21.2 Total purchase volume of all issuers below in 1Q21, not annualized.3 After-Tax ROA of issuers that publicly report – Citigroup, Capital One, Synchrony, Discover and ADS.4 YoY = Year-over-year change versus 1Q20. 5 QoQ = Quarter-over-quarter change versus 4Q20.

Issuer scorecard ($billions)—Q1 2021

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1 Capital One is US consumer and small business credit cards and installment loans. Purchase volume excludes cash advances. 2 American Express changed its reporting method as of 2Q18; all figures are for US Consumer segment (revolving and charge products) which no longer reports net income. 3 Discover receivables, purchase volume (excludes cash advances), and losses are US domestic card only; ROA includes all of Direct Banking segment (credit card loans represents ~80% of Direct Banking loans). 4 All figures include all SYF business lines (i.e., Retail Card, Payment Solutions, and CareCredit). Retail Card accounts for ~65% of total receivables. 5 Average receivables of $15.8B (does not include loans held for sale).

Year-over-year growth rate trends

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Profitability trends – ROA proxy

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1 After-Tax ROA is a weighted average of – Citigroup, Capital One, Synchrony, Discover, and ADS.


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