Like many in the payments industry, you've probably been in high gear for a while now ramping up for the year-end holiday season by helping your merchants prepare for an influx of shoppers, making sure their software is up to date, checking the status of POS equipment and supplies, reinvigorating your help desk staff and doing everything else possible to ensure the season goes smoothly.
We all have high hopes that, despite economic challenges, people will be imbued with the holiday spirit and go forth amid tinsel-, garland- and ornament-festooned stores, markets and seasonal fairs to seek gifts that will convey their unique appreciation for family and friends who bring meaning to their lives throughout the year.
We pay close attention to holiday spending data year to year, of course, because more sales and larger transaction amounts mean more prosperity for our merchant customers and for us. And what happens during the closing months of the year can affect, not just the following year, but many a merchant's entire future.
Here are just a few findings from recent economic studies:
So what do these bits of data mean? None of us can predict what the last weeks of 2010 will bring. But there is a very good chance the worst is now behind us. What we can do is remember that this profession we share is more than a living. It is an opportunity to do our very best for our clients, our communities, our families and ourselves, especially at this time of year, when some have lavish gifts to offer while others can offer only their good cheer. Let's endeavor to prize them all.
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