Use of credit and debit cards increasing, study finds




The use of credit and debit cards in the U.S. to pay for goods continues to rise, according to the Federal Reserve Board. The number of domestic core noncash payments totaled an estimated $144 billion in 2015, a 5.3% increase annually from 2012, according to a Dec. 22 Federal Reserve news release.

More than two-thirds of all core noncash payments in the U.S. are made using credit and debit cards, according to the 2016 Federal Reserve Payments Study, which includes payment data from 2015. The study found the total value of the transactions increased 3.4% annually from 2012 to 2105 to nearly $178 trillion.

About half of the transactions were made with credit cards, the other with nonprepaid debit cards, with both increasing by 8% over the the period, the study found.

In addition, the number of payments using a chip card grew by more than 230% each of those three years, the release stated.  However, the amount paid in that manner accounted for only about 2% of all in-person card payments made in 2015.

The study also found the amount of counterfeit card fraud in the U.S.  in 2015 was greater compared with other countries where chip technology has been more widely adopted.

“A limited amount of fraud information was ready for release today, and further results will be released in 2017 as the complete data set is more fully reviewed and analyzed,” Mary Kepler, senior vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, which sponsored the study, said in the release. Beginning in 2017, some survey data will be collected annually, rather than every three years, to increase the value of the study, Kepler added in the release.

Meanwhile, automated clearinghouse payments grew modestly over the three-year period, according to the release, while check payments continued a slow decline.

The information is based on the 2016 Depository and Financial Institutions Payments Survey, the 2016 Networks, Processors and Issuers Payments Surveys; and the 2016 Check Sample Survey.


About the author

Sheryl DeVore

Sheryl DeVore is a copy editor for OnCourse Learning. She has more than 25 years of writing and editing experience for regional and national publications.

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