In July 2009, just as the United States economy was emerging from a recession, the Payment Cards Center (PCC) hosted a workshop conducted by Michael Marx, senior director of Visa Research Insights. The workshop featured findings from the Visa Payment Panel Study through 2008. The study data from that period clearly showed a departure from some of the long-term trends in consumer payment preferences, particularly with regard to credit cards and cash. Dollar volume on credit cards registered a year-over-year decline for the first time in the panel’s history. Cash, however, after years of decline, was being used with more frequency.1 At that time, Marx speculated that these variations from the trend were recession related, as was the observed decline in overall spending levels in the panel data.
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