While the recession may have altered the shopping habits of consumers nationwide, the number of people who were willing to deal with credit card debt increased in the final three months of 2010, according to a report from The Associated Press. As a result, MasterCard saw profits surge by 41 percent over the same period in 2009.
The company found the number of transactions processed for both its branded debit and credit cards rose 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, to 6.2 billion, the report said. In all, the total value of those purchases was about $567 billion, which marked an increase of 11 percent from the prior year.
Branded credit card use in the U.S. jumped 3 percent overall, and debit card transactions rose 4 percent, the report said. In all, net income for its payment processing network rose to $415 million in the quarter, up from the $294 million observed in the same three-month period last year.
Many consumers may still be wary of dealing with credit card debt, as many faced thousands of dollars in outstanding balances during the recession.
[Resource: Tips for Paying Off Credit Card Debt]