Despite a 30 year record low holiday retail sales period, online merchants' business exploded and achieved new records, an analysis of VeriSign's more than 80,000 payments merchants revealed. VeriSign
is currently the largest payment service provider on the Internet, processing more than 25 percent of all online merchants' Internet transactions. The post-holiday season analysis revealed that
VeriSign merchants' total online payments transactions increased more than 75% in 2002. Overall for 2002, consumers spent nearly $13.7 billion on the Internet, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.
High-volume VeriSign merchants also saw substantial increases in transactions processed. The average dollar amount per transaction for the top 50 VeriSign online merchants nearly tripled in 2002
increasing from $43.91 in December 2001 to $123.85 in December 2002. "In a year when overall holiday spending was off because of macro economic conditions, our average merchant saw sales increases of
approximately 5%, which demonstrates clearly that consumers trust the Internet as a secure method of purchasing products and services," said Barry McCarthy, Vice President & General Manager, VeriSign