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Star survey shows consumers like idea of debit
for small purchases.


21 May 2003

MAITLAND, Fla. -- A recent nationwide consumer survey conducted by Star Systems, a Concord EFS company, shows that consumers are interested in making small value purchases by debit card. According to the survey, the most popular type of small value (under $25) debit purchase is movie tickets, mentioned by 24 percent of the 11,263 survey respondents.

Movie tickets were followed by fast food, 20 percent; pay phone calls, 19 percent; public transit, 18 percent; parking meters, 16 percent; and vending machines and laundromats, both mentioned by 13 percent of consumers.

In his address at last October's "Payment System Optimization" conference, Star President Ronald Congemi identified the small purchases market segment as an evolving technology that is ripe for growth.

The Star survey also found that consumers who make both PIN-secured and signature debit purchases are the most active among all debit cardholders in terms of total number of transactions. Respondents who used only signature debit used their cards an average of 13 times per month, while those who used only PIN-secured debit used their card almost 9 times per month. Usage frequency jumped to almost 19 times per month among those who made both types of transactions.

"When consumers are familiar with and have a choice of transactions, they become more active debit card users, which helps financial institutions and retailers meet their critical business goals of winning new sales, increasing revenue and enhancing customer loyalty and retention," said Congemi in a Star news release.

Consistent with previous Star surveys, conducted annually, 51 percent of consumers prefer PIN-secured debit payment, versus 28 percent who prefer signature transactions.

More than four out of five U.S. accountholders (82 percent) have an ATM/debit card, and 86 percent of users made a card purchase in the past 30 days. ATM/debit card usage is relatively consistent across regions in the U.S., according to the survey.

Source: Star Network

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