"Milk and Cookies" No Longer Favorite Way to Pay Santa, Vantiv ShopTalk Survey Reveals

Survey finds shoppers plan to spend on average, a total of $600 for gifts

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CINCINNATI, Nov. 24, 2015 – With only 17 shopping days until Christmas, is this holiday shopping season shaping up to be one that has businesses jingling all the way to the bank? Or will Scrooge be the character of the year? According to the Vantiv ShopTalk survey, conducted by Socratic Technologies, consumers report this year will be somewhere in between, with most shoppers saying they plan to spend about the same amount as they did last year on gifts - which averages a total of $600.

Vantiv, the number one U.S. processor of "everyday spend" card transactions, including retail, grocery and drug store sales, contracted Socratic Technologies to survey 500 consumers on their shopping preferences. The survey found only 11 percent plan to spend more than they did last year, 17 percent said they plan to spend less, and the vast majority, 72 percent, will spend about the same as 2014.

Breaking up the $600 average for gifts, the survey shows that 33 percent questioned intended to spend $249 or less, 27 percent targeted $250 to $499, 24 percent set their sights on spending $500 to $749, with 16 percent saying they will be big spenders at $750 or more.

"Many shoppers will be using the new chip cards and EMV readers for the first time this season, and we know there will be some confusion and delays as people get used to the new terminals," said Ray Moorman, director of product strategy at Vantiv. "Shoppers should also be aware that the additional security of EMV doesn't carry over to shopping online. All we want for Christmas is for everyone to be vigilant this year to protect card data and for businesses to invest in additional security, such as tokenization and point-to-point encryption." For more information on how to protect your ecommerce business,

Topping the list of presents that Santa will bring this year are gift cards, clothes and books. The specific gifts shoppers plan to buy depend on how old they are. For example, Gen Xers are significantly more likely to purchase video or board games compared to older consumers, (Baby Boomers and Retirees). Women say they are more likely to buy books as gifts than men who were surveyed. And nearly one third of Millennials are likely to purchase a personal electronic device as a holiday gift, significantly higher than any other generation surveyed, including Gen X or Retirees. Also big on the list for Gen Xers are "experiential gifts" such as theatre, concert or sports tickets, significantly higher than Baby Boomers and Retirees.

Below is the list of items that consumers told surveyors they plan to purchase this year.

Vantiv ShopTalk also asked shoppers what types of payment they think Santa Claus will take this year, allowing respondents to pick more than one. The survey revealed bad news for those of you with the traditional milk and cookies. Cash ranked first at 54 percent, followed by credit cards at 47 percent, then debit cards at 39 percent and then its milk and cookies at 37 percent. Apple Pay gathered 19 percent, with Bitcoin collecting 8 percent of the vote.

Vantiv ShopTalk is a monthly survey conducted by Socratic Technologies to find the latest information in payments trends. Next month, Vantiv ShopTalk will focus on what consumers think of "Price versus Quality." For more information about Vantiv, please visit or on TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle+ and YouTube.


Socratic Technologies is a full-service marketing research consultancy that combines cutting-edge, practical innovations with strategic support. Our methods are a fusion of the best practices of time-tested traditional research and interactive, engaging techniques. With this combination of expertise and skills, we turn insights into action for our


Vantiv, Inc. (NYSE: VNTV) is a leading payment processor differentiated by an integrated technology platform. Vantiv offers a comprehensive suite of traditional and innovative payment processing and technology solutions to merchants and financial institutions of all sizes, enabling them to address their payment processing needs through a single provider. We build strong relationships with our customers, helping them become more efficient, more secure and more successful. Vantiv is the second largest merchant acquirer and the largest PIN debit acquirer based on number of transactions in the U.S. The company's growth strategy includes expanding further into high-growth channels and verticals, including integrated payments, ecommerce, and merchant bank. 

 © 2015 Vantiv, LLC. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks, service marks and trade names referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.  Vantiv and other Vantiv products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of Vantiv, LLC in the U.S. and other countries. 


Lori Stafford-Thomas
Director, Public Relations