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November 30, 2015updated 04 Apr 2017 12:48pm

Banks, payments sector gearing up for another successful Black Friday

Last year, banks, card issuers, payments processors et al passed the Black Friday test with flying colours.

By Douglas Blakey

Last year, banks, card issuers, payments processors et al passed the Black Friday test with flying colours.

Fingers crossed for a repeat in 2015.

Last year, for the first time in its short history, Black Friday became the biggest UK shopping day of the year.

It is to be hoped that this year, lessons will have been learned and some pretty chaotic scenes in-store will be avoided.

One of the most memorable quotes amid dozens to hit the inbox in the past week was one from Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, who argued that the majority of Black Friday deals "aren’t special",: "If you don’t want something, don’t need it or can’t afford it, then don’t buy it."

Even more extreme in an attempt to dampen Black Friday hysteria is the response of UK board sports retailer TVSC, who specialise in selling and promoting UK based brands across skate, surf and snow. It is shutting its online store for the entirety of Black Friday.But amid the hype, over-excited PR activity from retailers and some less than objective reporting from elements of the tabloid press, a lot rests on the next 72 hours.

The payments sector is bracing itself for a spike in activity while Visa and MasterCard number-crunch the year-on-year growth in the number and value of transactions.

Pre-Black Friday forecasts from MasterCard deserve a mention. It forecasts a slowdown in the growth in Black Friday weekend spending from a 13% increase in 2014, to 6.7% this year

On a more positive note, the growth in online shopping remains strong with an expected year on year increase of 17%.Over at Visa, its analysts forecast in-store transactions to exceed £1.1bn, up only 4% year-on-year with £721m forecast to be spent online – an increase of 17%, mirroring MasterCard’s figure.

I’ll make a confident and hopefully not too reckless prediction that once again, the banks and payment sector will cope with the demands of Black Friday.

Whether the retailers and delivery firms cope with the increase in demand – remember the problems with next day delivery collapsing under a weight of traffic last year – is quite another matter.

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