2010 Online Retail Payments Update and Forecast: Shift in Consumer Payment Behavior - A Temporary Reaction or a New Reality?

2010 Online Retail Payments Update and Forecast
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As the post‐recessionary economy improved throughout 2010, the U.S. online transaction market continued to grow, occupying an increasing portion of total retail sales. This report evaluates the actual and forecast changes in the online payment market, tracking payment mix data from 2009 through the forecast year of 2015, while also identifying the key drivers of market change. In addition to examining the rise in domestic e‐commerce sales during 2010, the report contains Javelin forecasts for total online payments volume and explores share and transaction growth in the online arena for credit cards (network and private label), debit cards, online alternative payments, and prepaid and gift cards.

Primary Questions:

  • What are the major trends for domestic e‐commerce payment transactions?
  • How will traditional online payments vehicles – credit and debit cards – fare as new payment options are introduced and new regulations influence consumer preferences?
  • Will credit card usage rebound from recessionary levels, or will debit cards continue to grow toward becoming consumers’ top‐of‐wallet choice?
  • What factors influence consumer adoption and the use of various payment options for online purchasing?
  • How has consumer receptivity to online purchasing changed over time, and how will it continue to evolve?


Using data collected online by Javelin in September 2010 from a random‐sample panel of 4,998 consumers, the survey targeted respondents based on representative proportions of gender, age, and income compared to the overall U.S. online population. In 2009, the U.S. population was estimated to comprise 306 million people, including 232 million adults and 168 million online adults.1 Overall margin of sampling error is ±1.39% at the 95% confidence level.

Secondary data from public sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was incorporated into the forecast. The forecast was derived using a combination of personal income forecasts from the OMB and BEA. The ratio of total retail to personal income was also drawn from these studies.

The total online retail payment volume was derived through survey results and a reweighting by payment type based on regularly revised U.S. Census e‐commerce data, U.S. online travel purchase estimates (based on BEA data), and publically available payments activity data from major service providers (e.g. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, eBay). The reweighting maintains survey integrity while anchoring the forecast to concrete market data developed by secondary sources. Prior years were also reweighted to maintain accurate trendability.


Companies Mentioned

Amazon Google
American Express MasterCard
Bill Me Later MoneyGram
Chase PayPal
Discover PreCash
eBillMe Visa

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