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Data for this episode of Truth In Data provided by Mercator Advisory Group’s report – U.S. Consumers and Debit: Fewer Use It for Purchases
- A new low of 54% of consumers use debit cards for purchases, down from 64% in 2011
- 80% of consumers own a debit card, and 92% have checking accounts
- Debit’s decline can be traced to increased online and mobile transactions – where consumers prefer credit
- Young adults are the least likely age segment to own a debit card
- Young adults are twice as likely (18%) to be charged a fee for debit cards vs. avg (9%)
- Young adults are the most likely age group to use PayPal or Pay by Amazon (75$ vs. 60% avg.)
- Debit’s future looks likely to continue to decline…
About the author
The latest Insight Summary Report from Mercator Advisory Group’s CustomerMonitor Survey Series reveals that 54% of all respondents use debit cards for purchases and that figure has declined steadily since 2011, the year following the enactment of the Durbin Amendment. The report, U.S. Consumers and Debit: Fewer Use It for Purchases, presents the findings of an online survey of 3,002 U.S. adults conducted in June 2018.
While consumer ownership of debit cards remains strong and people who have recently opened a checking account are even more likely than average to own a debit card for transactions, the percentage of all U.S. consumers and even those that own debit cards who report using their debit card for transactions is declining.
Today, more U.S. consumers, especially seniors are more likely to use credit cards than any other payments in stores. Young adults and adults whose annual household income is less than $75,000, however, are still more likely to use debit cards than credit cards in stores.
Only half of debit card users report using their card for online purchases. The perception of greater online security with credit cards (41%), fear of checking account compromise (30%), and lack of rewards when using debit cards (30%) are the main reasons consumers do not use debit cards online.
As U.S. consumers make a greater share of purchases online and by mobile using a wider range of payment options, they often prefer credit cards to debit cards online. And with the rising use of online payment services, consumers may start to bypass traditional payment cards and keep funds in their payment service rather than transfer it back to their checking account.