New Zealand: Increased Christmas spending led by credit card growth

Figures from electronic payments provider Paymark shows that in the first two weeks of December, $2.6 million was spent, up 6.1% t from last year. This was driven by a 5.4% growth in the first week and 6.7% in the second week. The annual growth in these first two weeks were highest in the Hawke’s Bay and West Coast regions. The lowest were found in the Gisborne (declining 1.2%) and Marlborough region, including Kaikoura due to earthquakes early in the month. Overall spending was highest in Auckland at $1.09 billion over two weeks. Paymark also showed that spending began from 6am all the way until midnight, peaking between midday and 1pm. Last week, the busiest hour was 12-1pm on Friday with 484,135 transactions recorded. While debit cards made up 52% of spending, growth was higher on credit cards, including those with contactless capability. December 2016 RFi Group data finds that 51% of New Zealand consumers have a contactless credit card, while only 36% have a contactless debit card. As contactless adoption increases, this could drive further differences in spending patterns and growth.


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