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US Consumers Now Pay More with Debit Cards than Cash

Paying with Debit cards is the favorite payment method among US consumers, according to a report from a survey supervised by the Fed Reserve.

It seems customers in the US are paying more with debit cards than they are doing with cash or other e-payment options.

The report – titled Diary of Consumer Payment Choice 2018is the fifth edition of an annual survey and is usually based on an all-inclusive customer-base with consumers who keep a record of all their transactions –including bills and purchases— over a couple of days.

2018’s edition featured more than 2870 US customers who kept transaction record for four days in the month of October.

On to the findings, customers made more debit transactions than they paid through any other avenues. Debit accounted for 28 percent of all payments to surpass cash which has led in all previous editions. Cash made 26 percent. And credit cards were a third-favorite accounting for 23 percent of all payments.

The Fed Reserve report also found that the average US grownup makes 43 transactions or payments a month—34 go into purchases while 10 settle bills. This per-month transaction count was an increase from 41 in the previous year (2017) but still a few points shy of 2016’s findings (46).

But while Americans buy more with debit, the study also found them to be big-money-spenders in 6 of all 9 payment avenues scrutinized.

High-value payment rates were as follows:

  • Debit card payments with an average value of $53.
  • Cash transactions with an average value of $21;
  • Credit card transactions with an average value of $55;
  • Payments via bank-account numbers with an average value of $261;
  • Checks transactions with an average value of $266;
  • Online-banking bill payments with an average value of $349;
  • Other (including PayPal, account-to-account transfers, and mobile payments), 1.6 and $241; prepaid cards, 1.1 and $48, and money orders, 0.1 and $446.

The Diary of Consumer Payment Choice also found that 24 percent of all 2018 transactions made using electronic devices such as smartphones, PCs and tablets. Mobile phone payments accounted for 1/3 (8 percent) of all the payments.

Final Words

Favorite payment avenues change with customer habits and now, debit is the next big thing. Still, other payments remain important to a dynamic payment industry striving to serve diverse consumer needs.