Benchmarking U.S. Debit Issuer Performance – 2013 to 2015

Navigator Edition: March 2016
By: Melissa Fox and Chris Razzano

Leading U.S. debit issuers saw strong portfolio performance in 2015, with an average of 24.1 debit transactions per active card per month and average monthly spend per active debit card of $922 (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: 2015 Debit Benchmarking Study Results

Figure-1_-2015-Debit-Benchmarking-Study-ResultsSource: First Annapolis Consulting, Debit Issuer Benchmarking Study.

These results are based on quarterly data provided by 13 U.S. issuers representing 113MM debit cards (approximately 40% of cards issued) as part of First Annapolis’ ongoing Debit Issuer Benchmarking Study, which has been tracking participating issuer performance since 2013.

Over the past two years, most issuers in our sample experienced positive growth in their active card base. Issuers’ total card bases expanded at an average annual rate of 2.0%, with average active card rates increasing 1.2%-points from 63.3% in 2013 to 64.5% in 2015, resulting in a 3.0% average annual increase in their active card bases (individual issuer growth rates ranged from -1.5% to 11.5%).

Participating issuers have also seen their per-active card metrics improve since 2013. While ticket sizes remained relatively stable, average monthly transactions per active card increased 3.3% per year over the two-year period, from 22.5 in 2013 to 24.1 in 2015. As a result, annual debit growth has been in the mid-single digits, with issuers experiencing an average annual increase in debit transactions of 6.3% from 2013 to 2015.

For more information about the study, or to become a participant, please contact Melissa Fox, Manager,, or Chris Razzano, Analyst, Both specialize in Payments Strategy & Innovation.

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