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A Thing Debit Survey

Debit Survey

According to a Gallup survey commissioned by Visa, debit card use has grown three-fold in that last four years. Debit cardholders now use their cards an average of 10 times per month, compared to three times per month in 1993.

Eighty percent of respondents were aware of debit cards (an increase of 26% from 1993), and 25 to 44 year-olds were reported to use the card the most. That makes sense because in 1993, the highest users were 18 to 24 year-olds.

According to the survey, debit cardholders' favorite places to use their debit cards are supermarkets, department stores, and gas stations. In fact, the study found that in six of eight types of retail establishments, cash as a preferred payment method declined, while the use of debit cards at those locations increased. But, checks are still used more than debit cards.

According to Robert Baker, senior VP for debit and cash products at Visa USA, 99% of the financial institutions who issue debit cards refer to them as check cards because it was found that consumers find it easier to understand the check card description.

During the first six months of 1997, more than 878 million Visa check card transactions were made, representing a value of $39.7 billion. This is up from 500 million transactions in the first six months of 1996 worth $21.1 billion. Also, the number of Visa check cards has grown to 50.4 million (from 9.2 million in 1991) and the number of U.S. financial institutions issuing Visa check cards has tripled to more than 4,700 since 1994.