Checks & ATM usage decline as expected; but Debit cards usage is up

The Federal Reserve Payments Study 2018 published last month illustrates some interesting trends across the various types of non-cash payment methods in the U.S. from 2016 to 2017.

Overall, there is accelerated growth in electronic payments and expected decline in Check Payments & ATM withdrawals as compared to prior years. But debit cards payments seem to have grown faster than credit cards.

Trends in noncash payments, by number, 2000-17

Card Payments
Here are some interesting numbers from the report

  • Card Payments witnessed robust growth from 2016 to 2017 accounting for 123.5 billion in payments by number (a 10% increase) and $6.48 trillion by value (an 8% increase).
  • In 2017
    • Debit cards were the majority (66.9%) of total card payments by number
    • Credit cards constituted 55.6% of the total value of card payments
  • A surge was witnessed in the prepaid and non-prepaid debit card payments by number relative to credit card payments from 2016 to 2017
    • At 10.5% prepaid debit card payments had the highest growth rate by a number
  • By value, however, credit card payments had the highest growth rate at 10% by value from 2016 to 2017
  • Most card payments were made with general-purpose cards (only 7.6% of credit card payments by number were made by private label cards)
  • Pointing to growing e-commerce transactions, remote card payments have been growing significantly compared with in-person card payments
  • The number of in-person chip authentication card payments increased from 2015, indicating growth in chip card issuance and chip point-of-sale terminals following the “EMV’ microchip specification. Chip-authenticated payments accounted for more than half of the value of in-person general-purpose card payments in 2017

Distribution and trends in a total in-person chip and no-chip general-purpose card payments, by number and value, 2012-17

Card Payments

To get further insights and information on the U.S. Cards industry, click here to read the full Federal Reserve report.

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