• The potential market for offering credit card authorization/check guarantee information services to retailers, financial institutions, and other companies is statistically awesome.

• Over 240 million consumers, using over 700 million credit cards, currently initiate over 7 billion transactions annually at an average cost of over 20 cents per transaction. This places the current credit card authorization services (CCAS) market potential at $1.5 billion in revenues.

• Another way to assess the same market is as follows: consumers currently spend some $300 billion for retail purchases utilizing credit cards. At an average of 3% of the charge amount, total expenditures for all credit card services, including authorization, are $9 billion. The portion related to credit card authorization is 20%; therefore, the 1985 market potential is $1.8 billion (the same order of magnitude as above).

• The gap between the current market and the potential market is very large. INPUT believes that less than 25% of all credit card transactions receive voice or electronic authorization.

• The potential market for check guarantee services (CGS) is even more impressive. Consumers currently write over 20 billion retail checks, the aggregate of some $500 billiion in total annual spending. Expenditures for CGS average 3% of the check amount; this places the potential market at $15 billion.

The gap between the existing market and the market potential for check guarantee services is even greater than that for CCAS. INPUT believes that penetration is currently less than 3%.


This executive summary is designed in a presentation format in order to:

Help the busy reader to quickly review key research findings.

Provide a ready-to-go executive presentation, complete with script, to facilitate group communication.

Key points of the report are summarized in Exhibits II- 1 through 11-5. On the left-hand page facing each exhibit is a script explaining the contents of the exhibit.

In order to reduce repetition of the terms “check guarantee services” and “credit card authorization services,” the acronyms CGS and CCAS will be frequently used.