Key themes

    • Purchase volume has continued to exhibit a strong rebound (up 20%+ QoQ for all issuers) and has largely returned to pre-pandemic levels; American Express, in particular, points to a healthy return of T&E spend as a growth driver.
    • YoY purchase volume growth was substantial given that Q2 2020 was the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.
    • Receivables are showing signs of rebounding—positive QoQ growth was reported for all issuers and some reported YoY growth as well.
    • Charge-off rates continue to decline due to sustained high payment rates; many issuers expect losses to begin to normalize towards the end of 2021, once stimulus programs begin to expire.
    • Issuer profitability was highly elevated in Q2 due to the release of reserves built up over the course of the pandemic (and low charge-off rates).

Notable happenings

New partnerships
Capital One announced the acquisition of the Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn / West Elm credit card portfolios from Alliance Data; Sezzle announced a partnership with Target to provide BNPL services in-store and online; FNBO partnered with Runnings to issue consumer and SMB co-brand cards, and Big R Stores for a co-brand card; ADS announced new card partnerships with rue21 and GasBuddy.

Partnership developments
Synchrony renewed its private-label and co-brand credit card partnership with TJ Maxx; ADS renewed its sales finance partnership with Signet Jewelers (includes Kay, Jared, and Zales portfolios), its PLCC and co-brand credit card partnership with Ann Taylor and its private-label partnerships with Lane Bryant and Maurices; Citi announced the termination of its Macy’s partnership and renewed its co-brand credit card partnership with AT&T and its PLCC partnership with Tractor Supply Co.

New products/features
Citi launched Custom Cash credit card; Wells Fargo launched its new Active Cash credit card; Barclays partnered with Amount to offer white-labeled merchant POS financing options.

Mobile & tech
American Express launched Kabbage Checking, a checking account tailored for SMBs; Marqeta completed its IPO with a market cap of $14B; Brazilian fintech PicPay filed for a US IPO.

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 2Q21.2 Total purchase volume of all issuers below in 2Q21, 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 2Q20. 5 QoQ = Quarter-over-quarter change versus 1Q20.

Issuer scorecard ($billions)—Q2 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 $15.3B (does not include loans held for sale).

Year-over-year growth rate trends

Profitability trends – ROA proxy

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


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