“Across the country, we’re seeing consumers continue to spend as their confidence in the economy grows,” said Wayne Best, Visa’s Chief Economist. “With spending increases over the prior year from retailers and restaurants as well as a more robust travel sector, this broad-based growth is making an important contribution to the economic recovery.”
Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, is a key holiday for retailers and an ever-important indicator of the success of the U.S.economy. Americans will hit the road, flocking to their favorite holiday destination, grills will be dusted off for award-worthy barbecues, and hotels and restaurants will eagerly await the arrival of consumers ready take part in this weekend’s festivities.
May 2015 spending is in full bloom leading into Memorial Day Weekend, with a 4.5% growth over the same period in 2014. The largest increases come within the restaurant (9.5%) and hotel (9.4%) industries, even as half of the nation’s consumers are socking away their savings from lower gasoline prices, proving that Americans are bullish in today’s economy.
Amid a strengthening housing market and renewed confidence in the economy, Americans continue to open their wallets for restaurant meals, hotel stays, household goods like appliances and furniture, and other more day-to-day needs. Eleven of the fourteen major spending categories that Visa tracks showed growth from the prior year.
This growth vibe was definitely felt at this week’s National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show, where NRA posted record attendance numbers and optimistic attendees left feeling good about the state of the economy.
Case in point is NRA attendee Zaxby’s, an Athens, GA–based company with 690 units across the country. With 70 restaurants opening in 2014, plans for 80 openings in 2015, and an 86% growth in 2014 from existing franchises, Zaxby’s is a true testimonial to the growing economy.
But with all of this spending, it is certain that cyber thieves are waiting to pounce on any available opportunity for credit card fraud. For many retailers, protecting credit card data may not always be front of mind – but it should be. Fraud is a huge economy buster, as we have seen from past data breaches, and payment security is vital for all businesses to continue to thrive.
At the height of the major data breaches in early 2014, Bluefin became the first company in North America to receive PCI-validation for a retail point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solution. Our PCI-validated P2PE solutions secure the POS by encrypting data within the point of entry device so that clear-text cardholder data is not available in the merchant or enterprise’s system.
From brick and mortar payments, to payments over the phone, to payments on a mobile phone or tablet, to payments via a kiosk or unattended device – Bluefin provides secure payment processing backed by PCI-validated P2PE. Learn more about Bluefin and payment security, and download Bluefin’s security webinar Why Holistic Payment Security is a Better Defense for Cardholder Data and Business Brands.
And have a safe and “well-spent” Memorial Day!