Holiday E-Commerce Spending Totals $26.5B via Visa

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E-commerce transactions through Visa debit and credit cards for the 2005 holidays totaled $26.52 billion, up 33.7 percent from the year-ago period and slightly more than 10 percent of the overall $257 billion spent via Visa in this festive time across channels and retail segments.

The San Francisco-based payments franchise said e-commerce sales on Visa cards for the week through New Year's Day rose 25.5 percent to $2.51 billion. This supports a theory that the week after Christmas accounts for 10 percent of overall holiday sales.

Visa cardholders completed 30.96 million transactions in the last week through Jan. 1, with an average charge of $81.04. This was a 23.9 percent jump in the volume of transactions from the year-ago period.

E-commerce sales on Visa cards peaked Thursday, Dec. 1, when cardholders spent $624 million, up 47 percent from a year ago. The next-largest e-commerce day was Dec. 15, with Visa sales volume of $616 million, followed by Dec. 12's $613 million.

Mail Orders Slip for Post-Christmas Week

Meanwhile, Visa cardholders spent $13.6 billion on mail and telephone orders for the 2005 holidays, up 2.6 percent from a year ago and accounting for 13.2 percent of total retail sales.

Though all retail segments measured by Visa showed growth for the season, mail and phone order sales for the week through New Year's Day were down 2.4 percent to $1.08 billion. The average order size for that week, at $73.83, was about 10 percent lower than e-commerce's, and volume of transactions was up 6 percent to 14.64 million.

Visa's numbers reflect only a partial account of the e-commerce activity over the holidays. Rival payments franchises MasterCard, American Express and Discover do not release a similar record of transactions via their cards.

Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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