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Visa Inc. Survey Finds 73% of Consumers Still Have Christmas Gifts to Buy

For Procrastinators, 'Panic Shopping' Sets In; Last-Minute Shoppers Will Spend an Average of $304

FOSTER CITY, Calif., Dec. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new survey released by Visa Inc. shows that 73% of consumers still haven't finished shopping for Christmas gifts. These last-minute shoppers will spend an average of $304 in the final days leading up to Christmas.

Based on 1,007 telephone interviews conducted nationally between December 14 – 16 by GfK Roper OmniTel, Visa's survey finds that 16% of consumers have yet to purchase a single gift and plan to do all of their shopping at the last-minute.

At this point in 2011, with one final Saturday left before Christmas, 77% of consumers had yet to finish their shopping, planning to spend $278, while the number of professional procrastinators who hadn't even begun shopping stood at 13%.

"With this many Americans still desperate to buy gifts, we are officially in the danger zone for 'panic shopping,'" said Jason Alderman, Visa's Senior Director of Global Financial Education. "When shoppers panic, they throw money at the problem and often overspend to get a gift – any gift – in time for Christmas."

Visa's survey found regional, income and gender disparities among those who still had some Christmas shopping to complete.

  • 69% of Southerners still have gifts to buy and will spend $329
  • 69% of Midwesterners still have gifts to buy and will spend $239
  • 78% of Northeasterners still have gifts to buy and will spend $271
  • 79% of Westerners still have gifts to buy and will spend $352
  • 74% of women nationally still have gifts to buy and will spend $218
  • 72% of men nationally still have gifts to buy and will spend $399
  • 71% of people with household income under $20,000 still have gifts to buy and will spend $170
  • 74% of people with household income between $20,000 and $49,999 still have gifts to buy and will spend $208
  • 78% of people with household incomes over $50,000 still have gifts to buy and will spend $401

To ensure that panic shopping this week doesn't turn into a holiday hangover next month, Visa is providing some helpful budgeting tips.

  1. Spend no more than 1.5 percent of annual income on holiday expenses. For a family earning $50,000 a year, that means spending $750 or less on all aspects of the holidays.
  2. Have a 'micro budget' – a specific spending limit – for each person on your gift list.
  3. Join together with family members to help those who may be less fortunate and make a group contribution to a charity, in lieu of gifts to each other.
  4. Instead of buying a gift at a store, consider giving the gift of your time by providing an experience like agreeing to cook dinner on a weekend night, clean the house or do laundry.
  5. Visa offers a free online holiday budgeting calculator at www.practicalmoneyskills.com/holiday and as an iPhone app under "Practical Money Skills calculators" in the iTunes store.

About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks-VisaNet-that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit http://www.corporate.visa.com.

Survey Methodology
The survey results contained in this report are from GfK Roper's weekly telephone omnibus service, OmniTel. Interviewing was conducted from December 14-16, 2012. A total of 1007 interviews with adults aged 18+ were completed. The margin of error for this study is +/- 3 percentage points.

SOURCE Visa Inc.

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