Paymark spending up 3.5% in January

Almost $3.8 billion was spent nationwide during January via the Paymark network. | PLUS MasterCard reports strong quarterly and full year growth.

Paymark figures for spending during January showed almost $3.8 billion was spent via the Paymark network across the country, up $128 million on the same time last year.

While this 3.5% year on year growth in spending was slightly lower than the average spending growth throughout 2011, it was above December’s 3.4% year on year increase and November’s 3.2%, Paymark head of sales and marketing Paul Whiston said.

Kiwis cut back on spending in January, he said, and used the month to recover from Christmas splurges, which was normal.

Retailers in Southland, South Canterbury, Auckland/Northland and Palmerston North had strong annual growth, Paymark said, with spending up 8.1%, 8.0%, 5.5% and 8.7% respectively, with Palmerston North’s growth equating to an additional $9.6 million spent in the region, Paymark said.

Canterbury was the only region to have lower sales, Paymark said, with spending down 1.9% in comparison to January 2011, and spending was slow in Marlborough, at a growth of 0.2%, and Taranaki/Taupo, with growth of 0.3% year on year.

Mr Whiston said a promising trend through the network was the increase in spending linked to housing related activity, with spending amongst building related merchants via the Paymark network up 5.1% compared with January of last year. 

“The level of activity amongst this group is still relatively low but this annual growth rate betters any experienced last year.”

In terms of sectors that did well during January, plumbers had a 17.5% increase, footwear had a 7% increase year on year, auto repairs had a 9.2% increase and the travel sector had a 4.6% increase year on year, Paymark said.

MasterCard reports strong growth for quarter, year
MasterCard has reported strong growth in its fourth quarter and full year results for the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) region.

For the quarter ending December 31, the region posted 21.8% growth in gross dollar volume, 23.5% in purchase volume, 18.2% in purchase transactions, 18.4% in cash transactions and 12.3% in cards issued calculated in local currency, versus the same period in 2010, MasterCard said.

For the year, the region saw 22.9% growth in gross dollar volume, 24.9% in purchase volume, 18.3% in purchase transactions and 19.7% in cash transactions versus 2010.

MasterCard said as of December 31, 330 million cards, excluding Maestro and Cirrus had been issued by customers in APMEA, and cardholders in the region made almost 1.6 billion purchase transactions in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The strong fourth quarter and 2011 results were driven by new deals with industry leaders to develop payment solutions, including the roll out of the OneSmart PayPass card with Air New Zealand, MasterCard Worldwide APMEA president Vicky Bindra said.

“As MasterCard moves into 2012, we have tremendous opportunities in the APMEA region and are well positioned for the future.”