January 19, 2012
A report by e-commerce payment processor giant First Data Corp. says consumers continued to reload previously used closed-loop gift cards last December with reload-dollar volume growing at 47 percent and transaction growth at 50.9 percent. But according to the First Data SpendTrend Closed-Loop Prepaid Cards report for that month, activation-dollar-volume growth of reloadable cards decelerated to its slowest pace since April 2011, while redemptions also slowed.

“The holiday season triggered strong use of reloadable gift cards, while the slowdown in activation dollars and transactions between November and December may indicate that many consumers purchased their holiday gift cards early,” says Silvio Tavares, senior vice president and division manager of First Data Global Information and Analytics Solutions, which publishes the monthly SpendTrend report.  

The SpendTrend analysis tracks same-merchant activations and redemptions of gift cards, prepaid cards, and incentive and promotional cards.