Credit Unions Gain Market Share in Credit Card Issuing 

November 20, 2023

The latest survey by Elan Credit Card and PYMNTS Intelligence reveals that credit unions and community banks have substantially increased their footprints in the consumer credit card space in recent years.

Credit unions increased their share of primary credit cards from 6% in 2020 to 8.3% in 2023. Local banks more than doubled their shares, moving from 2.3% to 5.1% in the same period. Though modest in absolute terms, these shifts represent sizable relative gains.

A graph showing market share of different types of financial institutions have of card issuing in 2020 and 2023.

While national banks issue 68% of primary consumer credit cards, 24% of consumers surveyed said they would likely choose a credit union or community bank for their next credit card.  

The research also shows that smaller financial institutions can maximize their competitiveness by providing key features that cardholders value, including rewards programs and the ability to split payments.

National banks remain the goliaths of the consumer credit card industry, and their dominance will not be challenged anytime soon. Nevertheless, credit unions and community banks have significantly increased the shares of consumers choosing them for their primary credit cards in recent years. This trend is poised to grow as many consumers prefer credit unions and community banks for their next credit card, including sizable shares of those currently without a primary card. 

Learn more in the full report here. 

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