American Express is most popular for mail-order purchases on the West Coast and in the Northeast; Discover is most popular in the Midwest. Litle & Co. learned these and other trends in an analysis of its processing data.

The processing company serves consumer-direct merchants, which sell through catalogs, infomercials and similar marketing techniques. Its study focused only on its own data, so these findings do not reflect spending in stores.

Litle also discovered that MasterCard payments are higher in the Midwest and South, and Visa payments are higher in the West.

"Analyzing the payments data of our own merchant base we are able to identify trends such as these," said Bala Janakiraman, vice president of customer value at Litle, in a press release Aug. 22. "Creating these spend maps reveals valuable payments intelligence and insights many retailers don't even realize they have, which can be used to supercharge customer marketing and to influence other business decisions."

The company presented its findings in a state-by-state chart (pdf) based on average daily spend per capita.

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