Some 61% of consumers surveyed in the fourth quarter by New York City-based Auriemma Consulting Group cited a debit card as their most frequently used card, up from 52% a year earlier. Only 24% named a credit card, down from 35% at the end of 2016.
“Based on our consumer self-reported research, we have already begun to see [year-over-year] increases in debit card preference and spend over the past two years, as well as a growing proportion of consumers who are primarily using debit cards for online purchases,” Jaclyn Holmes, Payment Insights director at Auriemma, tells Digital Transactions magazine by email for an upcoming story about credit card usage trends.
Indeed, credit cards dominated e-commerce from its earliest days, but other payment forms are taking share from credit as alternatives come on the scene and consumers’ attitudes toward the safety of e-commerce become more accepting.
Auriemma’s survey of 800 consumers found 50% of respondents used a debit card for online purchases compared with only 35% using credit in 2017’s fourth quarter. Two years earlier, 51% of respondents favored credit cards and only 34% debit. According to Auriemma, the change could be a sign that consumer trust in online commerce is rising.
Debit’s popularity is growing even for big-ticket items such as appliances, another area where credit traditionally has reigned supreme. In 2015’s fourth quarter, 58% of respondents used a credit card to pay for appliances compared with only 20% who used a debit card. Two years later, credit’s lead was a mere 8 percentage points, 39% to 31% for debit. The findings suggest “greater confidence in respondents’ personal finances,” an Auriemma report says.