The Era of Uncertainty: Credit Cards

How Issuers Can Recession-Proof Their Business

About This Report
Life is good for credit card issuers, but worsening economic conditions could endanger their $160 billion revenue stream. They must act decisively to ensure they’re still meeting consumers’ changing needs.
Table of Contents

In the face of recession warning signs, credit card issuers must be ready to shift their strategies to protect a payments industry cash cow. This means planning for consumer weakness in unexpected places; facing down buy now, pay later (BNPL) threats; and making tough program-specific decisions.

Key Question: What are the short- and long-term challenges for general-purpose credit cards, and what do they mean for issuers?

KEY STAT: We expect US credit card spending to reach nearly $2.837 trillion in 2022, delivering more than $160 billion in revenues to issuers—which a recession would put in jeopardy.

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Table of Contents

  1. Recession Threatens to Rain on Card Issuers’ Parade
  2. Short-Term Changes
  3. Long-Term Changes
  1. What It All Means for Issuers
  2. Read Next
  3. Sources
  1. Media Gallery


David Morris, Jaime Toplin


Daniel Decea
Researcher, Financial Services
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