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Visa USA says consumers choosing debit cards more often according
to consumer opinion research that demonstrates why consumers are embracing debit as a preferred payment method across the country.

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Consumers Choosing Debit Cards More Often,
Visa U.S.A. Announces Debit Outpaces Credit.


September 16, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO, CA. -- While American consumers have a vast array of choices in how to pay for their purchases at the check-out counter, Visa U.S.A. announced today that for the first time Visa check card transactions exceeded Visa credit card transactions in the U.S from January through June 2002. In the first two quarters of 2002, Visa U.S.A. processed 3.04 billion Visa check card transactions compared to 2.96 billion Visa credit card transactions despite that fact that the number of credit cards doubles that of debit.

Additionally, Visa U.S.A. released consumer opinion research that demonstrates why consumers are embracing debit as a preferred payment method - consumers cited safety, convenience and budgeting as key factors when deciding to choose debit.

"Visa's focus has been to provide people better, more convenient ways to pay," said Stacey Pinkerd, Visa U.S.A. Senior Vice President for Debit and Prepaid Products. "It's clear consumers are responding to new payment choices like debit because it is more convenient than writing a check, safer than carrying a lot of cash, and a helpful tool in household budgeting."

"In the current economic climate it is encouraging to find that 70% of Visa check cardholders say they have a better idea of where they spend their money since they started using their debit card." Pinkerd added.

The research also showed:

  • 60% say a primary reason they use the card is to carry less cash.

  • 66% say they feel safer since they started using their Visa check cards because they carry around less cash.

  • Nearly half (48%) of Visa check cardholders say a main reason for carrying the card is to avoid carrying a checkbook. An additional 20% say this is a secondary reason for carrying the card.

  • 58% say they use their Visa check cards to get through check-out lines quicker.

  • 76% say using their Visa check cards has saved them time.

  • 60% of Visa check cardholders say one of the reasons why they use their Visa check cards is to track where they are spending their money.

  • 70% say they have a better idea where they spend their money since they started using their Visa check cards.

  • 60% say they are more aware of how much they are spending since they started using their Visa check cards.

  • 54% say they manage their finances better since they started using their Visa check cards.


  • Source: Visa U.S.A.
    Consumer survey interviewed 1,000 Visa check card users and the margin of error is +/- 3.1%


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