First Data issues report on gift card usage

New York -- The average gift card dollar volume growth on a year-over-year basis increased 10% during the last six months of 2011, with consumers shopping earlier in the holiday season for prepaid cards and adding more value to their purchases than in 2010, according to a study by First Data Corp.

“The state of the economy in the U.S. led to a significant increase in the average consumer’s usage of prepaid cards,” said Silvio Tavares, SVP and division manager of First Data Global Information and Analytics Solutions. “Consumers were more willing to reload gift cards in order to earn discounts and rewards in everyday spending categories of grocery, discount, and gasoline.”

The report shows that grocery, discount, and gasoline retailers aligned their prepaid strategy to respond to the painful reality of higher fuel prices on the every-day spending needs of families. According to industry reports, the typical U.S. household spent a record $4,155 on gasoline in 2011 — about $1,300 more than the 10-year average. By leveraging prepaid reloadable cards in new and existing fuel rewards programs, best-in-class retailers gained a greater share of consumer spending, more repeat visits, and improved customer loyalty.

The report, “2011 Year-End Prepaid Gift Card Market Analysis,” is one of a series of research analyses from First Data Advisors, the custom analytics and consulting unit of First Data Global Information and Analytics Solutions.

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