Spending in January totalled $4.5 billion, up 5.5 per cent on the previous year. The number of transactions recorded last month increased 9.7 per cent. increase on the same month last year.
Paymark’s head of customer relations, Mark Spicer, said the increase in value and volume of transactions in January are good indicators of continued growth for 2015.
Credit card usage in January grew 18.4 per cent on January 2014, faster than debit card growth of 6.6 per cent.
Credit card transactions include all contactless transactions. Given that contactless transactions through the Paymark network have grown by 340 per cent since the same time last year, this may play some part in the growth of use.
Supermarkets, furniture retailers, and food and beverage retailers were the winners in January, with furniture, flooring, and homeware stores posting 12.1 per cent growth, and supermarkets and grocery stores 10.3 per cent.
Food and beverage services (excluding supermarkets) but including cafes, restaurants, and bars rose 11.5 per cent.
Spending at hardware, building and garden suppliers was up 11.1 per cent, but was slower in clothing, footwear, and personal accessories sector with 3.4 per cent growth.
The biggest day of spending was January 30, with $174.3 million processed through Paymark network, up 3.4 per cent on the same Friday in 2014.
“With 3.5 million transactions processed that same day, an 8.6 per cent increase, it could be that events such as the NRL Nines contributed to the increase,” said Spicer.
There were mixed spending patterns on the two major anniversary weekends in Wellington and Auckland. Spending in Wellington was down by 0.4 per cent totalling $144 million in Auckland and Northland over the three day weekend, up 6.9 per cent on the same three days last year.