Payment Transaction Trends: Credit/Debit Cards and Gateways in 2016

Written by
Shoresh Shafei
Publication Date
March 9, 2017
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 Spreedly's ever-growing trove of data provides unique insight into the payment transaction¬†industry. In fact, we are expecting to process 100 million transactions in 2017.

Given our diverse data set, and the fact that we sit in-between payment platforms, merchants and payment gateways, we want to share data and trends on a wide range of topics we believe are valuable to companies that rely on and process online payments; topics such as credit card decline rates, gateway performance comparison, card usage, currencies, and more.

To start, we present a summary of select 2016 key performance indicators that you can compare against your own results to gauge how well your payment stack may or may not be doing.
Decline Rates Statistics
One of the single biggest questions we get is, "how do my decline rates compare to others? There are 100 variations on this question - ticket size, geography, payment provider, credit card type, and so on. To help set a base line, here is some interesting, high level decline data from 2016:

The overall average payment transaction decline rate is 16%.The decline rate for US Dollar (USD) is 11%.The decline rate for Euro (EUR) is 14%.Our worst performing currency? That is the Mexican Peso (MXN) at 50%The best performing (lowest decline rate)? The Canadian Dollar (CAD) at 8%.

Payment Cards

Next up, we break down usage by card type. Metrics of interest include: most popular cards, most used, card expiration dates, and decline rates, to name a few. A couple of interesting facts we noticed:

Chase Visa credit cards and Wells Fargo debit cards were used more than any other cards in our payment vault.Visa and MasterCard debit cards from a variety of Mexico banks have the highest decline rates.

Expiration Dates

Online merchants that offer subscription-based services can benefit from credit cards with longer expiration expectancy. We plan to study expiration dates in more detail in future posts, but for now here are a few examples from 2016:

The average expiration year for cards in our payment vault is approximately 2019.The longest expiration date is 2036 (several Maestro and Sweden debit and Chase credit cards share this date).

Payment Gateways

The best gateway isn’t always the cheapest. There are many important factors to consider when choosing a gateway, such as latency, decline rates, and average ticket size. Stay tuned for Spreedly’s upcoming report: 2016 Payment Gateway Performance Review, but until then, here are a couple metrics to whet your appetite:, Stripe, FirstData, Redsys and Payu India are the top 5 gateways in our database.Among the top payment gateways, FirstData has the lowest latency rate with the least fluctuations in response time.Stripe has processed transactions in 77 different currencies.


This blog post serves as an introduction for the future and more comprehensive studies that use our data to discuss payment methods (most popular credit cards, expiration expectancies, decline rates, average ticket size per country or zip code, and more), payment gateways (latencies, decline rates in different currencies, performance over time, etc.), and payment transaction methods in extensive details. We hope that democratizing our data helps online merchants and business owners make data-backed and well-informed decisions. 

In the meantime, we'd love to hear from you what data points you would like us to include in future posts.

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