The PSCU Payments Index: February 2024

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (February 15, 2024) — Today, PSCU – the nation’s premier payments CUSO and an integrated financial technology solutions provider – published the February edition of the PSCU Payments Index, the goal of which is to provide information and insights to help financial institutions navigate the evolving financial landscape to make informed, strategic decisions for their organizations and members.

2024 has shown continued positive consumer spending trends – as credit card debt continues to rise. In the February 2024 edition of the PSCU Payments Index, we present a Deep Dive on credit card delinquency rates and credit card balances. The New York Federal Reserve published that Q4 2023 consumer credit card debt was $1.129 trillion, up 14.5% (or $143 billion) year over year.

With its third consecutive monthly increase, the Consumer Confidence Index rose in January to 114.8 from a revised December result of 108.0. While all age groups showed gains, the largest gain was the 55+ group. Similarly, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index increased 13.3% in January, the largest month-over-month increase since July 2021. While consumers cited easing inflation and improvement in personal incomes for the gains, 41% of consumers had a favorable view of business conditions in the coming year and 48% expect worsening conditions.

January 2024 also showed strong job growth, with 355,000 new jobs as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The overall unemployment rate for January held steady again at 3.7%, or 6.3 million people. An additional strength in the report included stronger than expected hourly earnings, up 0.6% from December and up 4.5% year over year versus the expected 0.3% and 4.1%, respectively. Job gains trended up in professional and business services, health care, retail trade and social assistance. An area of potential concern is the growth of persons working part-time for economic reasons. This seasonally adjusted figure – 4.4 million people for January 2024 – was up 5.0% from December and 9.2% year over year.

In their Jan. 31 meeting, the Federal Reserve indicated the central bank would likely not be comfortable enough with the path of inflation for an interest rate cut by the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, scheduled for March 19-20. These comments were made prior to the strong jobs report, pushing a potential rate decrease further in the year.

In the Labor Department’s Feb. 13 update, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.3% in January, bringing the 12-month rate of inflation to 3.1%, with Shelter contributing to over two-thirds of the increase. Core CPI, which excludes the Food and Energy sectors, rose 3.9% year over year, up 0.4% from December.

“While consumer spending trends remain positive, there is growing reliance on credit cards to finance this spending,” said Wendy Elieff, Senior Vice President, Client Service and Marketing, TriVerity and The Loan Service Center. “In this month’s Deep Dive, we explore escalating delinquency rates, which are well above pre-pandemic levels. At a time when credit card interest rates have reached historic highs, many consumers who have been grappling with inflation for more than two years have likely depleted their savings and accrued higher credit card balances. The uptick in balances, coupled with the rise in delinquency rates, are indicative of financial strain, particularly among younger and lower-income households.”

A sampling of key takeaways from the February report includes:

  • Debit purchase growth, up 3.4% for January, again continued to outpace growth in credit purchases, up 1.1%. For transactions, debit grew 2.4% and credit grew 2.3% year over year.
  • Delinquencies have been on the rise after bottoming out in May 2021 at 1.03%. Overall credit card delinquencies for January 2024 were 2.67%. We also see that delinquency rates lower as age demographics get higher. For year-over-year changes, there were notable increases for Older Millennials, up 0.77 percentage points to 3.86% for January 2024, and Gen X, up 0.63 percentage points to 2.55%.
  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) increased 0.3% in January, while the 12-month rate of inflation was 3.1%. Shelter contributed to over two-thirds of the increase. Excluding the volatile Energy and Food sectors, the core CPI index increased 0.4% from December, putting the 12-month Core CPI index at 3.9%.
  • Through the lenses of Discretionary and Non-Discretionary purchases, growth in debit purchases, up 2.6% and 3.5% respectively, outpaced growth in credit purchases, each up 1.1%.
  • The average credit card balance dropped in January, finishing at $2,915. This was down $34, or 1.2%, compared to December 2023. Year over year, average credit card balances were up 4.0%, or $111. Total credit card balances were down 1.1% compared to December.

About PSCU

PSCU/Co-op Solutions is the nation’s premier payments credit union service organization (CUSO) and an integrated financial technology solutions provider. With over four decades of industry experience and a commitment to service excellence and innovation, the company serves more than 4,000 financial institutions throughout North America. PSCU/Co-op Solutions leverages its expertise and resources on behalf of credit unions and their members, offering an end-to-end product portfolio that includes payment processing, fraud and risk management, data and analytics, digital banking, instant payments, strategic consulting, collections, ATM and POS networks, shared branching and 24/7/365 member support via its contact centers. For more information, visit and


Bill Prichard, APR, Director, Public Relations
PSCU/Co-op Solutions
(909) 532-9416 or

More News