Credit card purchases rose in February

Visa and MasterCard, the world’s largest credit and debit processors, announced on Tuesday that the value and number of credit card purchases rose in February.

MasterCard’s gross dollar volume of U.S. transactions increased by 14 percent from last February. U.S. market volume also increased by 17 percent.

Chris McWilton, the president of U.S. markets for MasterCard, said that the number of processed transactions from January through February increased by 26 percent, Dow Jones reports.

Visa’s total volume of U.S. payments rose six percent, while credit card volume increased by 11 percent and debit card volume increased by four percent from last February. Cross-border volume also increased 16 percent, and the number of transactions processed worldwide increased by eight percent.

Visa announced in January that the its first-quarter profits had increased by 16.4 percent but said that its debit volume slowed due to increasing regulations on debit transactions, particularly the Durbin Amendment. The Durbin Amendment requires that lenders offer several processing options on debit cards, forcing some institutions to retreat from exclusive deals with Visa.

In response to the Durbin Amendment, Visa began informing merchants of the price changes required by the new regulations – a fixed fee with reductions to pre-existing fees charged to merchant banks, as well as bonus incentives offered to some merchants. These efforts are intended to re-route merchants away from competitors and back to Visa, according to Dow Jones.

Visa also announced that the company will be subject to a decreased state tax this quarter, resulting from changes in California’s state tax law.

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