How People Pay

One out of two in-store purchases is made with electronic payment methods such as debit and credit cards, according to a new survey. Results of the 2001 Consumer Payment Preferences Study, conducted by the American Bankers Association and Dove Consulting, show that electronic payments’ share of wallet grew from 43% to 49% in the past three years. Respondents’ use of cash and checks shrank from 57% in 1999 to 51% in 2001. Electronic methods are expected to account for a majority of payments in the future. At present, cash is still the most popular way to pay at registers, but its share of wallet decreased from 39% in 1999 to 33% in 2001. Debit card usage grew from 21% in 1999 to 26% in 2001, with PIN debits leading the way with a 4% increase over three years. Check and credit card usage saw minimal change.

Additional findings include:

  • 24% of respondents expect to increase their use of PIN debit cards; 6% expect to decrease their use; net future change, +18%.

  • 21% of respondents expect to increase their use of signature debit cards; 7% expect to decrease their use; net future change, +14%.

  • 20% of respondents expect to increase their use of prepaid cards; 2% expect to decrease their use; net future change, +18%.

  • 17% of respondents expect to increase their use of credit cards; 23% expect to decrease their use; net future change, –6%.

  • 10% of respondents expect to increase their use of checks; 28% expect to decrease their use; net future change, –18%.

  • 12% of respondents expect to increase their use of cash; 18% expect to decrease their use; net future change, –6%.

To order the entire study, call (800) BANKERS or visit www.aba.com or www.consultdove.com.

Credit Card Market Share

Card Number of Active U.S. Cards Market
ShareVisa 357.7 million 51.2%
Mastercard 256.1 million 36.7%
Discover 49.7 million 7.1%
American Express 34.6 million 5.0%
Total 698.1 million 100%
Source: www.cardweb.com